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Correspondence

I've gotten nothing for weeks. You might think of me

As dated in a blue housecoat, buttoning & unbuttoning,
Waiting you out: I have my ways

Of keeping time. When your letter comes, dogs will bark
Up & down the street. The tomatoes in the garden

Will explode like fireworks. Each day the mailman passes
In a reverie, illiterate, another cobweb

Grows across the door. Picture me
Going bald one hair at a time, combing & curling, burning

My hand on the iron once every hour: I like to
Keep myself busy. When I hear from you, aurora

Borealiswill sweep across the sky. Every lottery ticket in my drawer
Will win. Even the mailman will know the letters

Of your name. If you bothered to notice, you would see me
Turning to gold rather slowly, bone

By bone, the way teeth come
Loose from the gums, the way animals go

Extinct, in geological time.

--Jane Yeh

Originally published in the April/ May 1998 issue of Boston Review



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