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On the Flap of an Envelope

My dear friend,
we have grown old
without one another.
Figures, accidental

marks on a slope,
pitch tents at a distance
established by white crane
and prepare twig tea.

Each stone once had a face
looking over deep drifts.
Now when the lacquered box
for calligraphy is opened,

under the brushstrokes of clouds
on the outside of the lid,
and the brushstroke clouds
on the inside of the lid,

a small gold boat  
without its rower proceeds over   
the black sound of crickets
toward an empty mountain.

We are made by a bobbing buoy,
bobbing buoy ballpoint,
at a silence established
by the business-sized, or Crane stationary.  


Alexandria Peary’s Control Bird Alt Delete, won the 2013 Iowa Poetry Prize. Her other books include Fall Foliage Called Bathers & DancerLid to the Shadow, and the forthcoming (with Tom C. Hunley) Creative Writing Pedagogies for the 21st Century. Her poetry and nonfiction have recently appeared in the New England Review, Denver Quarterly, Boston Review, Volt, Guernica, Verse Daily, and Map Literary. She maintains a mindful writing blog at alexandriapeary.blogspot.com.