Poisoned letters

In July,
you wrote to me in poisoned letters.

Empty letters I had written to you
from Paris, Vienna, Kolkata
kept coming back to me,

twisted, inverted, turned inside out
like a mirror on the other side of speech.

You told me you had cried yourself to sleep
as these letters burnt a hole in your speech.

At some point,
you stopped trusting the meaning of the silence
that you quietly carried in your breast
with the infinite burden of this mad world.

Your body twisting and turning
in a daze
at the horror of beauty,

cut open, sliced
by the desire of these letters,

always drowned in speech,
but not quite, not all.

Yet the letter didn’t stop writing itself,
we shared only empty meanings
that kept returning to us,
just as it always comes back.

Before the letters,
I knew you were here, with me
but never knew how to find you.

Now these letters returning,
with the smell of cities in half-read books,
are overdrunk with a strange urgency
that I can never write about.

Like your body,
these letters cut inside out, inverted,
rise and fall
at this quiet horror of beauty.

Even the rain feels like
an act of ugly desperation tonight.

On some nights,
I know I will die if I don’t write to you.

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