Nightly I write you letters
but morning is always a cancelled gray envelope
stamped ADDRESS UNKNOWN.
I've been wanting to tell you
how things are since you have gone:
the cherry trees still looks into your window
and offers its arms full of small birds
of your last Spring.
I've packed your luggage —
that worn leather suitcase with the labels of epochs
and sent it on freedom rides
to Mississippi jails.
Your clothes closet, once gay
as a carnival of bears
with your checkered shirts and poet's neckties
holds the odor of dead flowers
and more sinister than shadows
motes of dust in faded sunbeams
swing suspended from bare wire hangers.
Your rough jackets have gone
with their bearings —
they have given me their last embraces
to link arms with new companions
and your shoes are out walking again
on new picket lines.
But the grief of your old eyeglasses
that you patched with Scotch tape
is more than I can bear.
Lying in the lamplight before an open book
they watch me from a void
of vacant lenses
as I go from room to room on perilous journeys
groping with my fingers to construct your face,
seeking the answer of your lips
upon the sundered air
the way it was the last time I kissed you
under the wings of the Angel
The Evaporated Man
Olga was a very early friend to Longhouse
— we miss her.