dainty things in blue

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Postal Sestina

from spring 2004

Postal Sestina

I’m never well on Sunday when you don’t deliver mail.
I skitter through the kitchen making peach
pie, lime tarts, and I listen to my spy-
story tape. (They’ve bugged the mayor’s pillow
and tantalized him with arresting blue-
eyed women.) But listen to me chatter –

my husband plugs his ears from the chatter
of girls. On Monday when you bring the mail
I’ll recognize the script on a bright blue
note stamped with a commemorative peach.
Perhaps I’ll read it seated, the pillow
rigid against my back, and when I spy

a line of Basque poetry I will spy
the psyche of a lunatic. Chatter
with loud mocking through the crazy pillow
he left in our bed. He’s the yo-yo, mail
carrier, not I. Won’t you stay for peach
pie? Lime tart? Your uniform is as blue

as my January fingertips, blue
like a bathtub daisy decal. I spy
your smile, mister. You have one lovely peach
of a mouth. I jest! My silly-girl chatter
will keep you from delivering the mail.
Could you leave me to ravish my pillow?

What stain is this ruining our pillow?
A yellow tinge has seeped into the blue
ticking. I’ll have to send away by mail
to find a solvent worthy of a spy
like me. When I worry I chatter –
I could chatter the fuzzy off a peach!

Do I dare to decorticate a peach?
His brain drained from his ear to the pillow
and deafened him against my sad chatter
and I turned to find his lower lip blue
and his upper lip stiffened like a spy
at night, this man who never sends mail.

I’ll never chatter to you, my brave peach,
when you bring the mail. Lie on this pillow?
Everything gleams blue when you’re a good spy.


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