I am in the blue/sweater she texts me, this nearly seventy-year-old lady from Ekalaka. She’s hip and determined to press on with living ever since she divorced her husband two years ago last March. And having fun includes poetry, which is how we’d become pen pals, hundreds of miles apart.
I imagine you in light/blue I reply.
LOL, she types back just as I slip through the front door of the old Power & Lights Building. I picture her: toothy grin; embroidered sweatshirt, blue. Sitting in the back of Room 220, notebook across her lap. New sneakers double tied.
And there she is. And here am I. Poetry reading time.
Does a letter know the sound it makes, she once wrote me. Does she know–this woman wrapped in sky/blue silk (I had pictured her all wrong), listening to a poet read out loud–does she know her sound now and how/she murmurs when the poet turns the page?
Imagine being: The silent vowel in the German “i e” combination, where only the “e” is pronounced. She wrote, after we agreed to meet: I didn’t know I wanted to be heard until I broke/away. The dot and the “i” & the fisted curl of an “e” no longer. I understand, I had written back. There was a time I’d hid inside the letter, N— no movement of the lips.