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I threw away your letters.

Years ago, just like that.

The tight black swirls,

circles and strokes

filling fine sheets -

I would not see them again.

The last items I had left.

The dates. The phrases.

The things you said. Forfeited.

Snowflake patterns.

Leaf diagrams.

Crushed. Melted. Dissolved.

The flooding runoff

at the backed-up

street corner drain

collects it all.

Only the opening

of a strong seal far below

could allow that pool

of darkening rainwater

to run and drop away

between the slats.

If I were to recover

the lost key of the cursive,

I would in one instant

want back again what I saw

in the images

the hand traced out for me.

And would be denied

even the little

the letters kept of you

and be released

into nothing but more time.

Letters

Russell Thornton

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