A Thousand Words

Published in Reed Magazine (2017)

 

Old letters
at the bottom of the shoe box
smelling faintly of dead leaves—
they tell the stories we need to hear over and over,
and never tire of,
like children—

that we have inspired lust,
that we have been remembered,
that we have been forgiven.

I rake them through my fingers,
breathe them,
pour them out onto the floor,
lie in them,
soak the stories in
through my skin.

I pull a familiar yellowed sheet
rustling from the pile.
Tell me the story of when …