I write four letters to four friends with two letters I still want to write

(And one more, I just remembered).
in each I share a memory because memory is what we have,
and each memory softens something, so I start to run easy on the page.
Honey-slow, but easy
(but you can’t see that)
And I smile wide 
(but you can’t see that 
beneath a mask, or
across a country).

I write three letters on my favorite notecards from the Greenwich Village stationary store M took me to once in between internship errands,
and one letter on the good gold stationary my parents bought in Italy.
I had been saving it,
hoarding it really,
thinking its delicate flowers and gold leaf details were 
too fine 
too beautiful 
too rare and 
too special for just any letter.
I’d been holding on to it thinking I’d use it to write some future special letter,
on some future special occasion.

but future is a hard, weird word now. I choke a little on it. 

And special deflates as it comes out of my mouth
(being alive is special
having food is special
breathing deep is special).

And there are no more occasions, just days. 

So I pull a single sheet of the stationary from its package,
take an envelope too,
and I address it to a friend, tell her I love her.
Because friendship is a special occasion
(not in the future but right now, yesterday, at all, ever). 

And then I go for a long walk that’s half in nature and half on the highway, and sit on the roof eating salty chips and licking fingers and chasing with cold Coca-Cola because my god why not why not sugar why not salt, and I sit on the bed listening to birds coo and coo and coo, until the sound of some neighbor’s boombox drowns them out, and I let it drown me out, too.

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