by Andrew Hughes
Letter Series #1
I apologize for my hands: they are my father’s. I didn’t mean
to touch you. I’d like to thank you. Your present this past winter
of chopsticks has allowed me to practice being graceful in private.
Because in all the days of my life I’ve known no reproach so exacting
as your smile.
It is cold here, at the end of this world. And I am troubled by the truth
the landscape has given me; a terrain of hushed mystery, intimate and
dreamlike, evoking overwhelming solitude amidst creation:
it is the sadness of valleys to live forever in the shadow of mountains.
Is it too late to learn the parable of the bee?
My name is Salt. Tell me the word for water.
Your most truly grateful debtor,
The compromise was developed as I roamed the streets,
after abandoning love for a time on a wintery afternoon.
I left fruit and stationary for my family, changed my jacket,
got on a train and left for Quebec.
I decided last week to take a break from the bustle. My
disappearance prompted speculation: I was unconscious.
Last week, on the killing day, I had the privilege of being
inside the forbidden city: our mantras were countered:
bread seemed redundant.
Still, there were rewarding moments amid the endless repetition:
individual scenes pack an eerie wallop.
The second choice is the path of extremism,
Letter Series #15
In my heart, 2 bees war for the sweetest flower—
lost rose of Eros.
I need you to look at me the way birds
look at tree branches.
We are sweethearts of the great migration.
Still the hunter remains hopeful,
Letter Series #20
It’s with great contempt that I write to you
about those fermented rooms of so long ago;
with the hope, despairingly, that you will
believe me when I tell you the tree will outlive
its symbolism; that we all return someday,
from wandering, to forget, dance.
As I’m about to iron linen, the last thing it feels
like is Saturday night.