Lost Letter

Lost Letter I
I can see you here, your letter says, weeks before
it arrives. You are as timid as an unsliced
papaya beneath the soaked awning, rain barely
not wetting your thin, green shirt. You could be
any one of these women walking past—each with
a dark umbrella over her face—you, where the rain
isn’t. I turn to answer, but your ship has left
for Korea, Vancouver, Chile. I have a lover,
and then I don’t. Then I do again. This time
you call, but the blossoms of cherry trees
open in my mouth—sweet ghosts—tip of
your thumb on my sad lower lip. Pittsburgh
is the city of a thousand bridges, you said, the only
time we split together, the snow kept falling
over the windshield of your car, and I had no
reply. When I have a daughter, I’ll name her June,
you told me, and I knew she wouldn’t be mine.
—Danielle Cadena Deulen