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Unfinished Business

I love lists and letters!

Excess baggage sits heavily upon its owner, weighs us all down, and is paid for by all. I don’t want to have unfinished business, yet I sure do linger sooner than I thank people. Indebted, I can’t repay them, but rather must in turn pay someone else instead. As Gerardo says, pay it forward.

To, and write

One day she left all the words scattered around the floor
In disheveled stacks around the coffee mugs
So that she might step out to get some air.
It was night. The streets were charged.
You had to look both ways.
She walked, she looked,
Walked some more,
So far that she
Lost her way.

By the time she did make her way home to the words,
She had lost track of their meanings: she knew
What each meant in isolation, alone, but
Not what she could make them say
When she would line them up
In arrangements no one had
Ever before considered.
This was her gift,
But forgotten.

She looked around the room for a long time, like
Amnesia. She recognized her many things, the
Couch, the table, photographs aligned along
Window frames, overcrowded bookshelves,
But the stacks of words, seemingly
Random all around the floor,
Making it hard to walk to
The bathroom: these
Confused her.

Much time passed. Weeks, months, even more.
She hadn't known what to do with the stacks,
All those words, though she knew not to
Throw them away. She moved them
Into corners and along one wall.
She learned to live her life
Around them, giving
Them their space,
Looking away.

One morning with time on her hands she gazed
Across the room at her stacks and two
Words, four stacks apart, combined
Themselves as though to speak.
The first word, to, she knew
Even upside down. The
Second faced her,
Write. Memory,

By that evening she had pulled out all her words
And begun rearranging them, barely aware
That the day had passed. The lines she
Made out of words so occupied her
That when finally she knew she
Needed to step out for air,
She set two cards just
Inside the door,
To, and write.



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