Talcum Powder

It's been sitting on my kitchen table
for the better part of a worse week
since I don't know what to do:
Toss it in the trash can
or stash it somewhere safe
for a future belle to loathe
and hold against me.
Her lack of return address is predictable.
The typed and printed destination
is what first implies sterility.
My building number's wrong
but the letter found its way.
My postman knows me;
crumples my mail

like that final cocktail napkin
from a night
the summer before last
careening in Manhattan
while visiting her friend
here from Ohio.
We'd hit several gay bars
on his behalf
and I'd hit the gin
on mine.
When she tried to pass out
on a Midtown walk-up's couch
I commandeered her keys to drive us north--
a modern Dmitri Karamazov
with work to do early the next morning.
I hit the Home button on her GPS
on a taillight-infested parkway.
Not recognizing the address
I barked toward a slouched dress
in the passenger seat
that the damn thing was mistaken.
She told me that valet drivers
can't be trusted, but I knew
she meant all men
because her stepfather had entered her
until, at ten, she popped
to an unresponsive mother.
And that was the end of that
and us;
and now, with this missive
I have her forgiveness
printed, italicized
in font as big as the fold.

Maybe she has the lines
I wrote her
--hiding in a drawer--
that no one will discover
since with our death
died her faith.

I'll do the same.
I'll tuck it in a place
that no one dares.

There are people
there are places
that best remain uncovered
but the envelopes we open
can bring us back to grace.

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