A letter to my dead grandmother

Grandmother, I got my heart broken tonight…like you did once. It feels hollow inside my chest…I can barely hear the beat of it. My somebody is gone and I am faceless again…untouched and indistinguishable from the others.

“No one worth possessing can quite be possessed.” Nazim Hikmet is my prophet tonight. Neruda shrugging off sadly in the distance, home sick still. The Brownings, Borges, Shakespeare…all the poetry in world could not put out this fire.

How long had I been reading poems before I met him, grandmother? How long had I been that shy wounded girl of prose before I met him. One less poem perhaps and I would have been the perfect woman for him.

And he? Who is he? There’s a scar below his chin where his beard doesn’t grow. Some youthful gallant mischief over a pretty girl, no doubt. You have to be rested on his chest, hearing his heart to see it. Grandmother, I don’t think I can live without that scar.

We were together like an embrace of brokenness. We were the beautiful weeds of Vladimir Nabokov’s story…the beautiful ones that could not hide from the farmer. Did I not tell you my love how the monster of my childhood cut so deeply that child I no longer remember being? I should have told you more perhaps. And did you not walk into my home and my life haunted by the blue of those curtains?

The mosquitos that night that wouldn’t let him rest….or I, disturbed by his restlessness. As if we had been one skin. The half of me that is already his disturbed by his discomfort and the half him that I claim, similarly afflicted. That is the poetry of us, grandmother. More than either of us knew.

And he is gone. And you and the angels know how much I love him. Heaven knows how much. How can I love him so much and how can he not stay?

Don’t worry grandmother, there shall be no tears this time. I’m writing to tell you that I have had the chance to be cleaned up by love, to be uplifted by it, to hold hands with it under the table and walk in the dark with it. I went back with love to the parts of me that hurt so much I hadn’t looked in years, and love kissed those places…kissed me, full on the lips! And it tasted just like I had hoped it would taste…like all the poems I had ever read.

For pinky…to all the secret jigs


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