Heart writes a letter to the ones who are missing
those who moved away or slipped through the cracks
He wants them to know he misses them even yet
Some go back to earliest childhood. What might
they look like? He realizes he must have passed
a few on the street without a flicker of recognition,
one with a cane, one with a beard, one with a red beret.
It's been a long time, he writes to the first.
Then he crosses it out. Many things have happened.
He crosses this out as well. How do you speak
to the disappeared? He remembers how some
made him laugh, some cry, some rool up his eyes.
He tries to recollect the smooth texture of their cheeks.
Those who died, how long have they lain in silence?
Those who live, do they stroll the streets even still?
His list contains several hundred names, other names
he can't recall. He sees their faces in the smoke.
He wishes he can clasp each one by the hand.
I wonder if you'll remember who I am, he writes.
Then he rubs it out. Recently I have thought of you.
He rubs this out, too. At last he hits on the right note
which he prints on hundreds of cards. Some he inserts
in bottles he drops in the sea, some he ties to pigeon's legs,
most are swept up in the dry eye of passing tornado.
Far away a bike messenger snatches a card from the air
Still here, it says, followed by an undecipherable scrawl.
Old what's-his name, the fellow thinks, up to his tricks.
Created: Mar 12, 2006