OLD LOVE LETTERS

I too have my stack
hidden in a cranny.

Photos from my time
on the romantic equator.

I don’t seem to ever
get around to throwing it out,

–the longing, I mean,
I mean longing, I mean

 longing I mean longing,

–like the appendix,
an organ in the body

which they tell you
you can live without–

how it still burns and hums
on cloudy days.

I am myself you know
held together in the dark

with a brittle rubber-band,
and these old love letters

for me are like
those plane tickets to Brazil

kept by the embezzler
in his bottommost desk drawer,

someplace where,
in an emergency,

when he is tired or frightened

he can bury his face
and inhale.

 

 

 

 

Tony Hoagland‘s most recent book of poems, Application for Release from the Dream, was published by Graywolf Press in 2015. His next collection, Proof of Life, is scheduled for 2018. He has published two collections of essays aboutpoetry. and he has poems forthcoming in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. He teaches at U of H in Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue #65 December 2016
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