Slices its way through space
and time in its sharp-creased
envelope in a way that makes an
email look like Planck and Enstein
both trying to shove through
a doorway in the same time and space.
Instead of the annoying texty ding,
there’s the metal flag the postman
has thoughtfully erected. It fills
your mailbox with the scent
of the secret cigarettes he furtively
smokes in the truck.
Ripping it open as you stand
there in the driveway in
your boxers and bare feet, here are
her very words scrawled in passionate
haste, checked not by spell, but by brain
on the snifter of Tokay she was
drinking—pink tip of tongue between
her teeth like an overheated cat—
pushing her ballpoint across the
back of the flyer for a car
wash she’s used for stationery.
It’s physical proof for you and
all the world that she’s
your amante and feels close enough
she can ask you for that check
you promised last time you talked
so she can get her teeth fixed.
Paul Many’s poems and stories have appeared in such publications as Tipton Poetry Journal, JJournal, Blueline, slipstream, and Spillway. His chapbook Thick Times is published by Finishing Line Press. He is professor emeritus of English and journalism at the University of Toledo.