Johns Hopkins University Press / "Letter to Susan in Seattle"

April 13th, 2017

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From "Letter to Susan in Seattle" from The View We're Granted by Peter Filkins (2012) 

I. 
 
Your letter, six months dormant on my shelf,
appears mid-morning among the books and dust, 
aspirin, postcards, pens, a broken cup, 
and asks me how I am. Answer? Well.
Or is it was? This far on it's hard to tell. 
 
Still, details. My winter's gone, your autumn 
is on its way. Outside, blustery March wind
showers New York with trash, while I imagine 
September stirs the salmon to their final run 
into the bay. What I've passed, you've begun
 
six months ago, three thousand miles away, 
and nothing for it but sit down, pick up a pen, 
rummage that bulging file--What Might Have Been--
(I imagine you there. I imagine your eyes.) 
to offer at least this poem's late reprise
 
jetting across these fifty United States, 
where, this morning, I sit alone in one,
you in another, both of us knowing
our separate lives and loves in separate ways,
the private turn of the heart that is a day...