Upon Receiving Your Last Letter
It didn’t shock me when it came—it seemed
I’d worried at the grain of it so long,
like a mollusk, hard at work against the thing
that the letter seemed my own. It gleamed,
an opalescent rendering, which some
might call relief: you weren’t coming back.
St. Petersburg held you in thrall; the black
cold winter’s blinding snowfalls felt like home.
Outside, the winter’s final snow recedes,
a hoary tide against the bloodless green
of unsprung grass and leaves, and not that much
has changed: March is vague as it concedes
familiar chill with half-formed warmth, the sheen
of old ice breaking with the slightest touch.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro