Friday, February 28, 2014

My Love Letters

My wife claims she still has all of the love letters I have written to her . . . which must be an imponderable pile by now, seeing as how I have written hundreds, and an even greater number of love poems.  But I've never seen this stash, she must be hiding the whole shebang in four sock drawers. And as far as I know, she doesn't use any of my letters as stuffing in undergarments. Most likely, I'll find this trove at a most unlikely post, like in the trunk of the car next to the spare tire, or perhaps under the lawn mower cushion.  All of my letters will just come flooding out, very likely embarrassing me in front of my in-laws, where I'll have to explain to my father-in-law what I meant when I wrote, "I wanna get jiggy wid' it" or "meet me under the back deck at midnight and we'll hunt for night crawlers."

Love letters are, if anything, an embarrassment to real literature.  And yet, here they are, spewing forth from my pen in great profusion.  I write 'em on napkins, on the backs of cardboard boxes; I write 'em on used envelopes and, when the kids are not at home, scrawl a few lines on the kitchen counter in ketchup.  

Not that these love letters have had any impact, of course.  At least, I've seen no negligible traces of influence through nearly thirty years of marriage.  But I still write 'em. 

Last night, I wrote two incredible love poems while in a state of near exhaustion.  In fact, I know I'll find a home for these poems in some journal or magazine that is managed by an equally inept male editor who only dreams of romance, but can only find love through the newspaper classifieds.

Most of my love poetry ends up this way . . . first appearing in university journals or, at times, in the pages of slicker magazines.  It's months after I have written them, but the publication, I hope, will somehow prove that I am a Romeo to be reckoned with, a guy who can write love in pentameters, or sonnet forms, or even in free-flowing verse that has no boundaries.  Sometimes, I write well enough to get paid. But now that I have hundreds of these things alongside my by-line, they are just another by-product of my imagination, romantic ponderings that have no basis in reality.

One of these days I'll find those love letters in the most unlikely place.  I won't remember writing any of them, but I'll know I did.  I would recognize my handwriting anywhere.

After all, we don't have our milk delivered to the door anymore.         


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