(to Rick)


There must be four days of food left, and I'm down
to my last stamp.  So I'm wasting it on you,
a cold and taking person who would bleat winter rain
in a terse Spring day, warm and teased by wild ducks
across the sun and the broken rhyme
of Bear Creek at noon.  I write you only to let you
know this, that I won't be able to
write again, and by the time that you get this
in Tallahassee, I will have eaten
all the remaining cans of sauerkraut and corn,
and the only barley that will be around will be
that stuck on the side of the aluminum
pot, dried and waxy, in the pink sink
that decorates my empty kitchen.


Then I'll be down again by the water
coursing to another larder,
and wondering just how many greasy cartons that once held pizza are perched
about the tiny black and white TV
set that we used to stare at beyond midnight, or what scraps
you'll pilfer from the discarded plates of the rich
socialites that populate that over-priced place you
work at called a restaurant.  Maybe
even a few shrimp or bits of trout will dangle from
the fingers of your hands that used to hold me,
not unlike food,
on the way to your mouth, but they won't


be the same fellows that found a niche
here in the creek running smugly beside
me because they couldn't travel that far without some
monied and painted postage like the gay square inch
I'll place in the corner of this obscenely
white envelope to give you this message of how
life is without you.