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.