Return to Sender

I closed the door of that oversized gray mailbox as
saliva slowly seeped out of an envelope flap.
The poor paper inside screamed muffled questions like
“Why is it so dark in here?”
“How does that stamp smile in conditions like these?”
“Where are you taking me?”

Mouth water and oak sap glue congealed my thoughts upon trees cut into dimensions.
I swear I said i would stop killing trees.
But I can’t.
Because if black inkblood does not bleed between blue lines,
than it doesn’t deserve to be read.

The sender and receiver lines were identical.
The handwriting was carefully duplicated with precise strokes.
I wanted to be sure that the letter made it to the right place.
And I wanted to be sure that the person who read it knew it was me,

And I wanted to be sure that the mailman did not confuse the 4’s with the 9’s and the 9’s with the 4’s.
It took me three attempts to get it right.
It takes multiple attempts to get anything right.
Except for love, I hope.

I sent a self addressed letter to myself  because lonely thoughts experience wanderlust.
Lost dreams need to stretch their legs.
I thought that if I sent my words on vacation
they would come back different.

Poetry would become prose,
questions would become answers,
and question marks would become periods the size of fists.

When that white driver in that white truck delivers what I know is coming, will my words still hold the same weight?
Not weight as in 11.75 grams, the exact weight of 2 pieces of paper, one folded, one sealed, once strangers, now friends on an unforgettable journey. But weight like the heaviness my heart felt when I saw the airplanes go into those buildings 15 years ago. The weight of my awkward and growing feet dragging across the carpeted aisles of a New England church, 7th row, to say goodbye to my grandfather. The weight of my eyelids the morning after I stayed up all night with the girl who would become my wife, on a sandpaper roof, talking about the future then

which was the present now.

I hope whatever my heart wrote is still beating in its enveloped skin.
The hands that wrote them tremble at the memory of writing it.
The same way my brain trembles when thinking about the idea of metacarpal catharsis.

The three days that passed between sender and receiver felt longer than a meeting of immortals ,gathering around tables of fruit, discussing immortality. Longer than the lifespan of an arctic clam. 507 years. Longer than the week my Fed-ex thought she was pregnant and I spent hours in my head tiptoeing to the precipice that separates boyhood from fatherhood.

(I wouldn’t have had the chance to become a man)

Here I stand three days later awaiting the white chariot coming to deliver my white package written upon white paper.
Waiting for the wings of a punctual bluebird that lets me know I am her priority.
…Even on Sundays.

3:34. Envelope in hand.
Saliva dry. Same address.
and tearing of paper.
Contents containing either happiness or heartbreak.
Two folds and it comes into vision.
A simple quote:

“We’re most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out?”


-Reese Weatherspoon