Reverse Letter

Amy Gottlieb


Love always. Meet me under the cobbled archway
on the night of the first snowfall. I will be holding
a bowl of steaming chick peas, just as you once asked.

Does Ingrid still weave blankets? Did the children leave
for camp? There were three beds floating like rafts
in the hotel room in Venice and we shared the smallest one.

I once dreamed that your hands were fountains and
the falling rain was a single tear from a homeless ancient god.
Where did we go after we rubbed the sand from our eyes?

Do you remember when we slept in the train station,
head to head on the worn bench, before the gendarmes
tapped us with their sticks? What keeps you awake at night?

When did we last speak? I found your address in a drawer
stuffed with thin air mail paper, the blue kind from the sixties.
It’s me. Dear. Date stamp. Return address. Envelope. Stamp.


Amy Gottlieb‘s debut novel The Beautiful Possible (Harper Perennial) was a 2016 National Jewish Book Award Finalist and a runner-up for the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. Her poems have appeared in Zeek, Storyscape, Seminary Ridge Review, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and elsewhere, and she was a finalist for the Ellen LaForge Memorial Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City.



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