by Natalie Robin

I always receive your letters in the morning as I am leaving my apartment and I like the excuse it gives me to carry the letter with me all day. I pull it out of my bag now and again, release it from its envelope, and sometimes I read it, but sometimes I admiringly study the angle of the corners, the deliberate creases next to gentle furrows from travel, where your pen stumbled, the stumbling you blackened, the haste with which you write, my knowing you still mean it…Though I don’t always get as far as taking the letter from its vessel; Sometimes I just hold the envelope between my cautious, spidery fingers; inside, an evidence of your heart; another stroke in the portrait of you that fills my face with an involuntary smile; a smile that I eventually catch myself casting down into my lap, and in my lap, where I keep the letter and my eyes; fixed in a tinge of embarrassment while I wonder if the others on the train also caught me smiling and thought to themselves:

I wonder what that letter says. It must be a love letter.