Dear John Letter, Never Sent

by Keetje Kuipers
Kuipers. The Keys to the Jail. Dear John Letter, Never Sent
The weather came in just as I left town, a farewell show over the hood of the car. There has to be a way to put the beauty inside, to carry it along: snow flurries freckling my belly, cedar fence post ribs expanding with each breath. But you want to know what to do with the dead cow we saw in the winter pasture, where to hide the old mill pouring her bitter steam— All those landmarks that hold a body under, pin it down, belong in narrow little books with loose spines where folded ferns fall out moth-riddled, worm-worn pages pinpricked through with light. I couldn't be the crutch of cloudless days against your dog-eared sadnesses. But maybe I was wrong to think I understood despair's whittling hand any better than you did, now walking among all that beauty I left behind.