Carmelita by Alison Hazle

I am writing to ask if you’d like

to dance again in the kitchen.

I have never been much for a phone

call, as you know. I was thinking

I could bring boas and peacock

flumes for our shoulders and the waists

of our pants. All the times you’ve tried

to teach me the Charleston 

with my eyes closed—this time,

I’d like to open them. We can put ice

in the beer because you prefer it

that way. We can smoke

your Slims as we make our way

through six rounds of gin

rummy. At midnight, we could eat

half-truths as you tell me how you fell

in love. I’d like to fall

asleep in that bed while you play

solitaire at your desk—just once more.

Carmelita, this could be read

as atonement but I must live

with the choice I made, having never sent

this letter. They called me an hour ago

to tell me that you had died.

Yesterday I sat beside you,

you still able to hold my hand.

I heard you mumble along

to the song we once circled

our hips to and I could only sit dumb

and cry. Carmelita, they’ve told me

that you’ve died and I can only sit here

pouring over a letter I never intended on sending you. 

Alison Hazle is a poet/writer and art school survivor. She plans to pursue an MFA somewhere far away from Baltimore.

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