Valentine’s Day

I confess to being in love
although I learned to know you
through those twenty-six letters
you secreted out of Phoenicia
through Egypt and finally across the pond
from England gathered into my box

How I pore over them memorizing
through your lines the shape of you
your sturdy stature and the curves
of your face, the waves in your hair
as if we learned each other as children
twisting chains on spinning swings

From your letters I learned your
favorite words and phrases tangled
sentences and those paragraphs
sprawled across college ruled sheets
the scrawl of your signature when
you’d had the last word

But then you moved on
Arial and Calibri getting the best
of you so that I became adept
at cutting lines and enjambment
strangled strophes and stanzas
until I ran out of breath

Adopted rigid forms and rules
to hold myself together
pushed the bitterness into sonnet
and ode until the day a child’s blocks
tumbled from the popcorn tin
and I saw it all again just twenty six

Letters rolling free across the floor