Friday, July 07, 2006

Letter #11

Dear Inmate,

I have your daughter here
with me in your old cell.
I can see where she gets her nose.

She is so light her tap shoes
barely leave scuff marks on
the walls. She practices
her dance for me, sliding and shuffling
as if her feet were being pecked by tiny
sparrows. I see those unkempt birds
in her eyes, in the way she flaps
her elbows. Our skirts happen
to match -- white ruffles with red
embroidery, men following men
with hammers, all along the hem.

When she stands close in the crook
of my arm, as she is now, I can
hardly tell where one frill ends
and another begins to fray.

Your daughter's tall for her age,
but still as thin as a cloud
stretched translucent. This spot,
here, where her jaw meets her neck,
where I can see her milky pulse
fluttering, is where I hold
the point of my pistol.

Awaiting your immediate return, yrs., etc.

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