Carin Perron: Poems & Prose

Through Shining Glass:
2. Gambit

You talk about the woman

You'd forgotten all about -- forgotten, till
her letters settled in your studio
like dust --

and caused your long-haired postman's wink
at eleven, every day

Years before -- not in this city,
in a night class she had thought
to catch you at the door with words,
but you thought not: the game became, then, subtler --
careful weavings to outwit, out-time, distract and capture
...or escape

These things end naturally,
you thought: classes end, and people
move away...and so
it seemed

-- until a letter sought you out
and caught you in your studio:
(she had you now!) disembodied,
she could seep into your space
and coat your time with vicious love
and scorn, apologies and pleas --
at eleven, every day

She couldn't lose: a single word,
and she would know
how thoroughly she'd won

And so it was you learned
to place each one so carefully unread
into its appointed drawer, delicate
and cautious as you'd store
any fine, suspicious ash
that glimmered in the dark --

You have a short-haired postman, now.
He comes at three o'clock.
He never winks or smiles.

You played the way she feared:
she send letters once a day;
you sent nothing --


© 1983, Carin Perron

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