Dead Letters

I wrote a letter once
for a friend who is hurting;
Twice, to a brother departed;
And even more times
for strangers disheartened.

I laced beautiful words
in comforting tones
beneath stoic guises,
To that unfeeling paper
of impoverished depth…
Lost in impoverished depth.

Gently, I wrapped them,
white against my cold hands;
neat packages of love—
These letters.
They always ended with:
Répondez s’il vous plaît.

And yet I never sent them.

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