CARTAS DE AMOR by Mather Schneider



The other day I was riding my bicycle
and I imagined what I would feel like if Araceli died
and left me alone in this house
I thought it would be the end of me.
I had no idea how I would go on
I thought about sitting alone here
writing letters to her ghost
a whole book of letters
in her Spanish language
even though I don’t know it very well
I figured she would understand me
even from the grave
like when we first met how we communicated nobody knows
not even us
but we did and it was easy and beautiful

and I came home from that bicycle ride
made some notes about it
left the paper on my desk
and when Ara came home from work she found it.

I came into the room and she was crying
she thought I was writing a goodbye letter to her
thought I was leaving her
thought I was going to sell the house and go away.
It took me 30 minutes to convince her otherwise
and when she finally believed me
understood that I was thinking of writing an imaginary
book of letters to her after her imaginary death
well that didn’t sit too well either
and though the tears stopped
she looked at me like she didn’t know who I was

and was distant and strange later in bed
like she thought I might kill her in her sleep.

Best not to imagine your love dead
or to think people will understand what goes on inside you
best not to put literature ahead of life
best not to write certain things down
or if you do
best to burn them
or hide them
for some cold cold day.

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