Tuesday Nov 21

Laurie Kutchins has published three books of poems from the Texas Tech University Press and BOA Editions. 
Her poems and lyric essays have appeared widely in periodicals, including Orion, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, and several anthologies.  She teaches creative writing at James Madison University and is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.
---------
 
   
S.A.S.E.
 
 
I’m sending you this plain white business envelope
 
to speak any business into.
It has my present address and
 
a liberty bell
a forever stamp
clanking
across continent and time
 
I’m sending you another way to touch
reply and send.
 
Echo me. Reply and send
the silence
 
after you open
your mail.
 
*
 
This envelope also holds
 
burnished teeth
one half of a broken stone that can still remember
the agony of the quarry
 
rain corked inside a honey bottle
your buttons, my clavicle bones
your eyes
 
I have not forgotten
little skeleton
 
left out
under thirty backyards of unraked leaves.
 
*
 
I’m asking you
to add
everything up
I’m asking you to subtract every new moon we’ve missed
 
I’m baking bread    
putting some flesh back on you
I’m going to ask you
to carry
another box
of heft from the attic
 
every verb is either love or survive.
 
*
 
In plain English I am asking 
if you can feel me
feel us
as yeast and water in the flour
eggs whipped with buttermilk and butter
am I like your special guest
 
inside all the grids and grooves of your secret inner city?
 
*
 
Not a day goes by
that I don’t bake some bready something for you.
My fingers are sticky with gratitude
for honey and
yeast and  pronouns and
more verbs
than you and I can eat.
 
Sometimes my breads say thank you.
Sometimes my breads say I’m sorry.
Sometimes they think
I must have made you up.
 
*
 
There is no explanation
for this sense I have that what we exile
still has its own pulse in our wrist.
 
This is what I feel
here in my veins that dogpaddle
on the surface of my skin. 
 
In plain English you float with me most of the time.
Is this you again
 
in the steam of my finished bread
in the clatter of leaves in my rearview?
 
*
This is a plain white envelope I send you.
 
My business cannot get any simpler.
I’m sorry
the desert stopped me
I’m thankful
the sky repealed its drought
I’m sorry
I traveled so far
I’m thankful
I traveled so far
 
I hope you are not living like this and I hope you are.