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Postcards

Today, I found
a shoe box
under the bed,
full of post cards
sent to you
from people
who loved you.

Postcards from a gas station
in downtown Paris,
from a smoky Amsterdam pub,
from a little village an hour
from Sao Paolo
where the water is drying up
and the children
have eyes like coal.

Handdrawn artsy cards,
five dollar museum cards,
art deco cards, cubist cards,
dada cards you have to stare at
until you start to think of them
as something beyond paper.

Kitsch cards, sentiments,
and Hallmark rhymes,
and a dozen cards sent
from some marina tourist shop,
the same sparkling blue water
and the same white sailboats
and the names of so many
little coast towns.

All these cards,
and on each, scrawls,
“I wish you were here.”

I never sent you a postcard
from anywhere. I never
wanted to be anywhere
you were not.

Oh, I wish you were here.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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