I got the mail. There was nothing except an envelope from you. No letter. An empty sleeve, skin of an orange, no pulp or juice. It was like when I looked in a telescope at the moon. All distance and dust, lit up. A cold singe.
Decided to write back and send you a single eyelash with no tears or transmission of desire, a broken wire with no return address. My parenthesis, sly mustache, a stick figure without the figure. I would add a fire
if I could. Considered ash. Considered other underhand signals that would stop this correspondence and render you harmless -- thought of symbol fonts, an angry ampersand -- then decided you might mistake it for something tender.
I took out my phone, tried to be snide and photogenic. Made a selfie without myself. Signed it, pomegranate.
-- Sheila Packa has four books of poems, The Mother Tongue, Echo & Lightning, Cloud Birds and Night Train Red Dust. She was the poet laureate of Duluth, 2010-2012. Recently, the Helsinki composer Olli Kortekangas used four of her poems to create a cantata, “Migrations,” that was premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra in February 2016.