Dear Robert Desnos

by | Apr 14, 2023 | Contemporary Epistolary Forms Day 1

“I have dreamed of you so much that you are no longer real.” Are these your words, or mine? I have read them so often that I dreamed you into extinction and absconded with your tongue, making it my own. Heavy-lidded one, sleepwalker, I borrowed your coat, the dark moons of your eyes, and like you I walk drowsy through the world, reading the palms of prisoners lined up for execution, predicting long life, children, exuberant joy.
Today your page freed itself from the book, so many times have I touched this poem, loosening the glue until you floated to the floor, Robert Desnos, 1900 – 1945. Are you here with me now, “a phantom among phantoms, a shadow a hundred times more shadow than the shadow that moves and goes on moving, brightly, over the sundial of your life”? A cello opens its throat and I listen to you speak, your wounded song trying to fly. You remind me that all things hollow reverberate.
Now I sit here waiting for your automatic hand to guide mine, some cursive of air moving these words to their impossible conclusion. Help me now, dear shadow, make you even less real.

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