LETTER TO STOCKTON LOOKING FOR
Dear Richard: You must stop
looking for love
in all the wrong places. You must get out
from behind your long Dutch-boy bangs, throw out
your compulsion to father a great people,
invest in an answering machine, and settle for less.
You must look in unexpected places, the back
row during mass at St. Cecilia’s, the poems
of Evelyn James, the computer drawings of the surface
of Mars, fully blossomed apple trees, the interiors
of almond seeds, and the crow’s-feet of older men.
You must make your words as good as the smiles
you wrap around them. They tell me liars hate
their lives and become sickly rather than explore
what their bodies know without talking. The heart
must be a stone willing to turn into a star, a bolt of light
that illuminates the space around it so profoundly
everyone knows its name. You must look in places
where a light burns in the window just for you.
In all of this, you must give thanks because you
will be rescued in ways you do not know.