Last Trip to the Dead Letter Office

Glitter from a 30-year-old birthday card
sticks to her thigh. Boxes explode
all over her dining room floor.
Decades of letters, postcards, greetings
from everyone she’s ever loved.

All those words skulking
inside envelopes—
mostly white, mostly #10, mostly last century.
Handwritten, typed with a typewriter, keyed with a computer,
mostly with a right hand.

All those words too settled now
to bang their way out.

She sifts through them.
Something from everyone
she’s ever loved
save you.

You two wrote in code.
Across a pub table,
you once mouthed the words
“I still have them.”

Your first kiss on the hill
behind Lomond School.
She wishes for the last one
not to be in a street
in Brooklyn Heights
before everyone began to die.

The only prayer she can remember:
God, please let me not
be the last pair of lips,
the last left hand
reaching for another pen.

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