Red Letters


You are no state of mine,                       

                                       (long time since you               )
I felt you coming like a shock wave                sound swell. I felt your approach
like                                     bells.

You left me no fissure,

no egg             left, but                        to kill, and to eat.

             Take the bread and break,                  break it
take                 take it             

                                                        been gone)                

                                                                                                            Yours, ______




            Clear morning.            in a little forest,           as the forest was not for you.

            Not for me. Another egg broke.                    Wrens got it again. Not in

            My house.                   You make me frigid, wrote red           letter, wrote

            the house again, in the            you left me, raw   

            as you left me. Bitter, more than                    What of the sentences, what

            processes. What moves that cannot stop.            What of the smallness? 

            white egg oozing in the canopy.                                 It is loud, very loud.


                                                                                                Yours, ______

Dear ____,

The cards recommend                        turn over

The cards did not mention you when I asked             set in               easy,

We used to play cards. I came over, turned               queens and                  I used

to come over and turn over                to fall, turn over                      behind the walls,

a moth at the wall of glass, fastened to light.                         I used to come over and

turn over         back to the blue walls,             back to the room         back of each card:  a

I used to come over and          your hand always going someplace.   I turned over, I did
not lie.


                                                                                                                                           Yours, ______

Dear ____, 

            on the knot work, on the                                rope, small wrists                   fits,
how do you?                    

small fist.         kept clutch,
known                         pulse,               fire in the                     contrary: the same shape
I felt my blood for the first time, I was migrating, lying                               prone.

Sailors traded knots for          . How many knots? How many knots to you know? How
many nots, sailor? How many cups, how many queens?                                                That
wasn't the aim.

I imagine you can do                           without. Without                    you, I imagine             you


                                                                                                                        Yours, ______

Dear ____,

Count the red things on me:

Count the red things in me:

Count the red things you can see:





                                                                                                                         Yours, ______

Denise Jarrott's work has appeared or is forthcoming in LVNG, Poor Claudia, Burnside Review, Bat City Review, The Volta and elsewhere. She lives in Colorado.