Little SD logo

Page O' Poems  

      A Letter Home -- Untitled #1

I've been gone three weeks now.
Sometimes memories of purpose
and raindrops
and the smell of your hair
still come to me in the mornings
in that single instant
before I open my eyes and remember
where I am,
or who.

I sleep too much now.
And I keep a feather stuck
in the picture frame by the bed.
It seems to grow larger every day,
more curved,
like the wing of an albatross
soaring on ocean thermals.
But it is dusty too,
and the very base of the quill
is split.

It is of course different now

from that day we found it,
on the beach
fleeing from the incoming rain.

It fluttered in my hand
while we crouched under towels
and remembered how to giggle.
The air across your damp skin
was apricots and coconuts.

I held the feather between my fingers
while we drank raindrops
and ran from tree to tree
to find where butterflies must hide
when it rains.
Our feet were both
sandy and grass-stained.

I still had it when
we held on to each other
to stop the shivering.

And I tucked it into your hair
just before
you kissed me
so suddenly
and gently
and it tickled my cheek.

There was no feather on the ride home.
Perhaps the wind blew it away
while we practiced big words
like "consequences"
and "prior obligations."
But of course there was no wind
in your car
because, behind closed eyes,
I can still smell
the smog and coffee rings and Armorall
soaking into the dash.

The feather by my bed is thus
not the feather we found.
I picked it up alone
in a hot city parking lot
where it baked in the noon sun
near a broken Pepsi bottle.

I have only recieved one
postcard from you since I left.
In response, I would like to say,
"It's nice to know you're doing fine.
I'm alright too.
Say hi to everyone for me.
I don't go to the beach much anymore.
And it hardly ever rains here."

--Z.T. Jun 7, 1997