I sent a letter to Paris, as if I were to send a letter to Paris.
As if by sending a letter to Paris, Paris will have received a letter from me.
As if by receiving a letter from me Paris will have a letter.
Let us begin again. Tap, tap. There was a letter. The letter was to Paris.
It was a Parisian letter, with those characteristics and sparrows.
The cultivated snail. The sea, the crossing. The particular coastal onions.
The salty rake. The white flowers of salt and evil.
The calendar says a French month is coming or Janvier. It says.
What if I were to send a letter constellating Paris, describing life here
as the leaves redden and flutter down, the ice in the grass?
By now this mention of a city is the arc of a cell clustered to design
Itself. In the Medical Field where I run my dog a hut has been erected.
In my letter I mention a sniper hut painted black in a medical field.
The slits in the paneled walls are like my pronoun laying itself down,
a sacrifice to the putativity of Paris, to whom I have sent a letter
pretending a peaceful city but meaning a mug of cream and sugar and bees.
The letter I may have sent to Paris remains on stilts, like the hut,
and a dozen feet off the ground. There are hinges but no doors
on the three words, not mine, I send to Paris. With no translation.
Theodore Worozbyt is the author of the chapbook A Unified Theory of Light, published by Dream Horse Press, and a full-length collection, The Dauber Wings, winner of the first American Poetry Journal Book Prize, which will be released in early 2007. New work appears in Crazyhorse, Image, Margie, New England Review, Noon: The Journal of the Short Poem, North American Review, Paris/Atlantic Journal, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Daily, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. (updated 11/2006)