With each word they tighten their fetters letters
and lengthen their chains. She swipes the notes he sends her, center
locked in shining sheets, somehow there here,
yet always beyond reach. Still she waits pained,
with open hands, catching coin, never knowing lowly,
the lips from which each leaf is torn – shorn,
still, she prays, where spaces stood, his letters stand – stranded
still, where once he stood, she withstands grief like
like pennies pounded thin, like thieving sheep,
hands and mouths mutely confessing caught