Dear Johnny, In Your Last Letter

By ANGELA VERONICA WONG 

 

Dear Johnny,
In your last letter, you requested
. Take my photograph down, you wrote. Disremember.
Yesterday M started talking. All at once, as if inside, she had alphabets that ached to break
out. We were                                 and relieved. We               it would never happen. Johnny, the
tomato plant takes water as if in love, and a map upside down is still a map. The arrows,
,              . I’ve
.                placed Europe above the         .      It hangs like our                   .
Every morning, I
. I trace where you could be: Newbury, Canterbury,                 ,
Maidstone, Kent.         will bring you to another place: Merville, Pas de Calais, Caen,
. You are pushing through fields. In          , one cloud like an apology. I
think the word verdant, and it brings me closer to             . I       the word tomorrow. It
a falling body.                                                     . Johnny, I am busy          history.
We were climbing a hill in                   . The ice soaked through our mittens. I
. You                        . Johnny, the ocean has salt
enough without your blood. I feel your hurried fear, tendoned and tight. You make your
body small. We split at what seems              . We
.   Johnny,                                        .
There are so many spaces my body needs filled.                   Love, your dark-haired
doll.

Angela Veronica Wong is the author of Dear Johnny, In Your Last Letter, chosen by Bob Hicok as a 2011 Poetry Society of America New York Chapbook Fellowship.

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