[Sent from the address of a venerable spa in Zurich, in an envelope whose seal had evidently been loosened by steam. The enclosed note read: “Found this in my old hotel room safe. Wrote it for her many separations ago.” —Ed.]



A fluid state,
as it was her prerogative to be,


a certain
classical uncertainty


wearing, on drumming fingers, orbital rings,
taking a smoke break outside space and time


(to measure her to miss her—
even to attempt—
even the instruments shrug, Je ne sais quoi);


nor was she, at the borderline, detained
by the gendarme of her own reflexive Frenchness:
she slipped between the Pyrenees
as through guitar strings
into the Spanish tense
where the noon is long
and the siesta’s dream contains all times at once;
became the mood, the flesh,
the very substance of the subjuntivo,
which every lover longs toward…in the mesh
of nontranslation, meanwhile, I remained


both coming and going.
Schrödinger’s affair.


I miss her. That is
neither here nor there.




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