Letter to Emily Dickinson

by Charles Bane, Jr.

Dear Emily,

Imagine that I opened your desk drawer and among the hundreds of your poems spilling to the floor was a sealed letter to me. I write in return, familiarly. I embrace you and touch gently a matching cranial scar, amorous lines from life-changing falls.

All take shelter where they can. Last week I found a homeless man near my grocery store. I bought a sub sandwich and a Coke and he woke when I put the bag down beside him; startled, he raised his hands to shield his face. A cop came at his screams, and took him to a hospital with fresh dressings and clean white gown.

Imagine us riding the border country when released from the spells that confine us only a while. Imagine clover fields reserved for your horse and his fury settled by your whisper and genius hand.

Emily, I must leave. I thank you for your letter. I cannot match your gifts. But I promise you all the starry rides you like, and words following you gallantly.


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