Josepha Gutelius

I write long letters to the dead  (you only know how heartfully),
in the woods, scratching the bark with my lonely fantasies, you
were always near, the one to decipher my messages. True, I would guide
you, you couldn't have found your way alone. I wouldn't have
wanted you to. I loved holding the secret.
It's been thirteen years to the day since your last letter came,
a forest fell out of the envelope, fire blew off the bush, you see
I do remember and handwriting like someone opening his veins.
The charms you enclosed ("spitted flames") looked like the rubies
my mother piled on for shopping tennis anywhere anytime
she didn't give a hoot for propriety.
They kiss-kiss when I put them on.
But that's not what I wanted to say. I'm writing you because
she died yesterday I think you should know that
she kept on asking me When for godsake you
going to marry that boy
so handsome and  lucky.

I didn't have it in me
to remind her you were dead.
So darling, should you meet her, I'm afraid
you have a little explaining to do.
I meant no harm by my deception, tell her that please,
and let me know
what she says because I hate to think this
is something you can’t read.

Before the Celebration

once there was a little world
waiting to be mended.
dimming light and the hour’s hoax
of perfect timing.
a life-sized dummy
rotating on a flat earth, struck by pins and the busy scissors
of the seamstress, quick,
what was her name?
a chart of the earth’s surface
was the body’s,
tailored to changing measurements,
each year look ma, I’ve
then there was a rip
so final.
a rip. Maybe only a pinpoint split --
and darkness falling swiftly.
such dead stillness,
and the dummy tilting elsewhere, waiting to be lit.