At the post office, I dash a note to a friend,
tell her I’ve just moved in, gotten settled, that
I’m now rushing off on an errand — except
that I write errant, a slip between letters,
each with an upright backbone anchoring it
to the page. One has with it the fullness
of possibility, a shape almost like the O
my friend’s mouth will make when she sees
my letter in her box; the other, a mark that crosses
like the flat line of your death, the symbol
over the church house door, the ashes on your forehead
some Wednesday I barely remember.
What was I saying? I had to cross the word out,
start again, explain what I know best
because of the way you left me: how suddenly
a simple errand, a letter—everything—can go wrong.