Dear Miss Emily

James Galvin

 
I knew the end would be gone before I got there.
After all, all rainbows lie for a living.
And as you have insisted, repeatedly,
The difference between death and the Eternal
Present is about as far as one
Eyelash from the next, not wished upon.
Rainbows are not forms or stories, are they?
They are not doors ajar so much as far-
Flung situations without true beginnings
Or any ends--why bother--unless, as you
Suggest--repeatedly---there's nothing wrong
With this life, and we should all stop whining.
So I shift my focus now on how to end
A letter. In XOXOXO,
For example, Miss, which are the hugs
And which the kisses? Does anybody know?
I could argue either way: the O's
Are circles of embrace, the X is someone
Else's star burning inside your mouth;
Unless the O is a mouth that cannot speak,
Because, you know, it's busy.
X is the crucifixion all embraces
Are, here at the nowhere of the rainbow's end,
Where even light has failed its situation,
Slant the only life it ever had,
Where even the most gallant sunset can't
Hold back for more than a nonce the rain-laden
Eastern sky of night. It's clear. It's clear.
X's are both hugs and kisses, O's
Where stars that died gave out, gave up, gave in--
Where no one meant the promises they made.
Oh, and one more thing. I send my love
However long and far it takes--through light,
Through time, thorough all the faithlessness of men,
James Augustin Galvin,
              X,
His mark.
 
From X by James Galvin. Copyright © 2003 by James Galvin. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All right reserved.

Poems by This Author

Blue or Green by James Galvin
We don't belong to each other.
Post-Modernism by James Galvin
A pinup of Rita Hayworth was taped
Station by James Galvin
Somewhere between a bird's nest and a solar system - whom did
To the Republic by James Galvin
Past
Two Horses and a Dog by James Galvin
Without external reference,


Further Reading

Poems About Breakups and Divorce
"To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage"
by Robert Lowell
The Aeneid, Book IV, [So, you traitor]
by Virgil
A Book Of Music
by Jack Spicer
After Love
by Sara Teasdale
Apart (Les Séparés)
by Louis Simpson
Chaos Is the New Calm
by Wyn Cooper
Coming and Going
by Tony Hoagland
Company
by Karen Leona Anderson
Donal Óg
by Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory
Family Reunion
by Jeredith Merrin
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Good Night
by Wilhelm Müller
Heart's Needle
by W. D. Snodgrass
I May After Leaving You Walk Quickly or Even Run
by Matthea Harvey
In Praise of Their Divorce
by Tony Hoagland
Man and Wife
by Robert Lowell
Multiple Man: Guest-starring me & you
by Gary Jackson
One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop
Pleasure
by Katie Peterson
Provisional
by Catherine Bowman
Remember
by Christina Rossetti
Sita
by Jason Schneiderman
The Gift
by Sara Teasdale
The Primer
by Christina Davis
The Vampire Bride [I am come—I am come!]
by Henry Thomas Liddell
This Was Once a Love Poem
by Jane Hirshfield
To Earthward
by Robert Frost
When We Two Parted
by George Gordon Byron