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RE: Hi

Leigh Stein

Congratulations on Alaska, it sounds really great.
I spoke with your wife yesterday – she didn’t know

what to get you since you seem to have everything:
dried figs, firewood, sugar cookie scented candles,

and I said maybe you would like a picture of someone
who loved you, but who wasn’t with you in the cave. Like

a woman?, she said. I don’t know, I said. You know
him better than I do. I told her I bought you a book

of stories about a Thai man and his adventures
in cockfighting and love, which I hope you’ve received

because otherwise I just ruined it. I meant to ask you,
though, do you ever see things, out there in the wild,

and wish there was someone standing next to you
so you could point and say, Look? Such as bats?

Or strange lights? Do your dreams take place
in different weather? So many things happened

this year that I just didn’t have the courage to write
all of them down and then photocopy it and then

mail it to people I don’t talk to anymore just to show
I’m still alive, but I hope you at least sent something

that says you’re in Alaska now. There might be
those who miss you and would want to know

where you are so they can pray in your direction.
Not that you need it. You were always so solitary

and reckless in the good sense. I found a picture
of us from when we were children, our eyes

alight with matching blue-green expectancy, our teeth
missing in the same spots, our arms outstretched,

holding proudly in our hands the pigeons we had caught.
Do you remember at what point you let yours go?

Leigh Stein

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