Poetry 2012 / Volume 43

Selected Letters — John Azark

“I’ve never written one,” my daughter laughs
as I hand her the selected letters of Alfred Stieglitz
and Georgia O’Keeffe, a tome as heavy as
her laptop. “It’s only Volume 1, they exchanged
25,000 pages in their lifetime! Imagine
making that kind of effort even in love.”
“Never,” she says, “too bad they couldn’t text,”
a trace of mischief in her wry grin.
“We’re not going there,” I say and she does
a curl with the book to show off muscles
taut from flute practice. “It’s like so permanent
written down. You can’t take anything back.”
“Yeah, well…Isn’t love supposed to be?
Besides one miscue on your Facebook page—”
I start, the color rushing to her furrowed brow
the book suddenly an unbearable weight
she drops, landing with a thud on the kitchen
table where I found the blue envelope
nearly four years ago, Hershey kiss
centered precisely over the a in Dad,
the tip of an iceberg about to break open
my heart frozen with dread that my girl
on medical leave from her Midwestern college
had given up on finding herself at home
and gone someplace unspeakable.
“Why didn’t you correct me?” she whispers
and I shrug. She closes her eyes, a ray pierces
the skylight illuminating the pressed flower
on the book’s cover. “Did you save it?”
“Nah,” I lie, “no reason to,” and there wasn’t.
“Gone the way of my useless albums.”
Her face softens, water eyes glistening:
“You know, there’s a turntable that plays
your records and syncs them to your iPod.”
“Great,” I say, “now you tell me.”

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One thought on “Selected Letters — John Azark

  1. Pingback: Current Issue: Volume 43, Number 1 — Poetry Issue, Fall 2012 | Coe Review

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