for M.B.

A handwritten note I found
that had nothing to do with me
and wasn’t particularly wrenching
or well-enjambed

still startled me
because the handwriting,
the blue lines and charcoal grey
reminded me of days in school
when you would write to me
thinking about me instead of
world geography.

The faint smell of your wrists
and the sweetness of paper itself
I imagine it in
a handwritten note I found
that had nothing to do with me.

My wife and I exchanged letters
by the mail across hundreds of miles
before we were married, and still
write things in cards three times
a year – but mostly we text, and
keep our grocery list synched.
She sends me an emoticon kiss.

It’s love like I hope you have
with your husband now.
I believe it in
a handwritten note I found
that had nothing to do with me.

Somewhat after the style of Leonard Cohen; Tedious explanation of what I’m up to after the cut.

So the reality is that inspiration struck, as it often must, from two different vectors – I found some guitar tab online, and the young lady who wrote it down didn’t put it in one of the tab softwares, or type it out in a monospaced font, which takes forever; she wrote it on notebook paper and scanned it. As a .tif! So seeing this on my computer screen reminded me of a sweet old high school girlfriend, and the second source of inspiration was Mary’s dVerse prompt about Leonard Cohen. Now, I don’t know that I did much good trying to write as Leonard Cohen, but one thing common to reading song lyrics is a certain awkwardness that comes if you read lyrics and don’t know the melody.

And I can do awkward. And nostalgia, and relationships both long-term and failed. So all that seemed to come together. Think of this as a song without a melody.

4 thoughts on “Handwritten

Add yours

  1. ha…smiles…synched grocery lists and and emoticon kisses…our modern world, sometimes i miss the times when we wrote real letters and cards…the smell of the wrists on them…i like

  2. smiles…we have boxes of letters we wrote back in the day…and where are they now…in a box…and when was the last…well i might need to write one today..no text…handwritten…

  3. I really enjoyed this, and yes I can see the Leonard Cohen influence!! And really if you get something in handwritten form nowadays it is such a rarity as to almost be a treasure. I hope you still have those letters exchanged by your wife and you..for posterity! A museum may want them someday (ha), as more and more communication is done by texts. Thank you for participating in my challenge and for your unique write!

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