I've got a safe, a cast iron safe in which I
stash away all my letters.
Letters to myself.
Letters to others.
There is a slit on top of the safe, and a clover shaped dial in front.
It is painted black, all over. I can't read the numbers.
The safe sits in the middle of the field behind the house.
Sometimes in the midst of summer when I wake up to the
I look into the field from my window and
see the angular corners of the safe
gleaming, broken lines,
like the frigid bones of a lesser moon.
And the moonlit nights lengthen.
I have forgotten the string of numbers to which the dial yields.
When winter comes and the field loses its green,
like the rooftop of the church but in reverse,
my footsteps shape a path to the safe, laden in snow.
Like a dot, a blimp on a blanket, a quilt,
white stitched on white.
Everyday I tread to the box in the snow.
With my mitts I wipe off the white flakes, puncture the crust, then
I see it, a line like a cat's pupil,
black and slim.
I slip a letter through the slit.
It is spring.
And the earth drinks up all the melted
snow and turns brown and
the safe turned the colour of dead leaves again. I love it when the outer paint layers
peel off like bark, thick,
mute ochre on one side, gleaming black on the other. I throw the torn pieces
into the safe with the letters.
Letters to myself, letters to
Summer will come, and I'll bathe the box in black again.
Maybe a grasshopper or bee or hair of corn will
venture onto it, stick to the slimy coating
and merge with the iron box,
die with the words I've
forgotten I've wanted
I can't remember at all.