To Susan Gilbert (first letter)

Dear Susan,
We are the only poets, she said, and everyone else is prose.  Here I am, never known to you or Emily, of another time, place, gender and sensibilities, reading your shared words, jealous of her immeasurable longing for you.
Our lives seem impossible.  We’re amazed as much as we suffer.  How dumbfounding it is to be incomplete, to confront desire and attempt to explain oneself, to exist and feel while disallowed.
I never knew you and yet I know you as much as I know myself.  Recognitions form like songs as they’re sung.  You and I and Emily are variations on a theme, countermelodies in a minor key.  In truth, I should include everyone that has ever lived in these analogies, but I have grown far too selfish when it comes to you and her.
jeremy