Dear Alexis, we are calling to tell you the wind's
a wolf outside. There's a storm
out here, outside yourself. Outside of you
a template for accident, and inside too.
We're not lying. We don't believe
in luck. It's a myth that the right hand feeds the mouth
of the world. We believe in earth, as in silt,
water, as in salt bath, and unclaimed sins, which are daily
and inevitable. We believe in memory
only as a means to instigate disaster. For instance,
a man loses his memory and one day
out of the gaping blue remembers
that he's lost—what an apocalypse in his chest.
But, Alexis, a spider crawled into your ear.
We saw it, and it laid its eggs in your ear.
This is not a legend. In the middle of the night
some day soon, you'll hear
the crunching sound of a dog pilfering
the potato chips inside your skull, and it'll louden
until you want to throw your head
beneath all eighteen wheels of a tractor trailer.
Don't! The spider will crawl out now
when the rustling is at its worst. Then you'll be free
of the cacophony everyone called
your imagination. Blake saw those angels
in the tree branch. Oh, he saw them alright,
and boy did he get a beating for letting on.
Alexis, don't let them beat you.
We called about the hurricane, but you may
predict that yourself what with the oceans balmy,
jungles sucked bone dry and spewed out
again like lukewarm disciples. We called twice
and left messages. You didn't answer
or call back. Now we're worried
about you, your faithlessness in the face
of demolition. We're worried about your salvation.
Alexis, what do you believe in but sadness
and circumference? How can you walk
in a hurricane and not get wet?
Author Discusses Poems