Let Us Find by Carol V. Davis

Let there be a shelter for letters

from lovers jilted or left to float in uncertainty.

A mutual severing does not need sanctity

or a trail of correspondence,

 

but for those reluctant to let go

let there be a place of refuge.

Memories of hair brushed gently from the eyes,

an elbow gently cupped to help the lover

cross a busy street.

The flesh retains the imprint of such tenderness.

 

The post office too brusque a place

where boxes in brown paper, marked fragile,

are tossed like all the rest.

No room for nostalgia, fluorescent light

too unforgiving to retrace a path.

 

Let us find another place,

perhaps the guardhouse of a cemetery,

otherwise unused.

The one room can be divided by

Japanese screens, even translucent curtains.

Small piles of letters tied by pastel ribbons

in one corner, those more incendiary

stacked in an old cigar box,

guarded on the lid by a woman

in a fruit-ladened hat.

 

 

Carol V. Davis
Carol V. DavisCarol V. Davis is the author of Between Storms (Truman State University Press, 2012). She won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, her poetry has been read on NPR, Radio Russia, and at the Library of Congress. She teaches at Santa Monica College and Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is a poetry editor of the Los Angeles newspaper, the Jewish Journal.