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Dear Friend

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     X.

Your bags were packed
and left at the door, the vase you
filled with shells, wrapped in tissue,
your books boxed. I have the whelk

you found on shore, the small conch,
intact—the point, the fine grooves—
and keep it in a box with a picture of you
at the beach: your hair slicked back,

head cocked at an angle.
Behind you, the green jacket
you told me to throw away. Strewn

over a chair, its arms dangle
above the floor—a hole in the pocket,
the elbows thin from years of use.


     Y.

I become each day more reckless,
too impatient for summer, the unbearable heat,
the calm that comes with it. There are no hills here,
not one, and I’m bored with the stillness

of the yellow field outside my window. And you,
who cannot keep still, who can never
look back, where will you go next?
How will I find you?

Can you feel the world pull
apart, the seams loosen?
What, tell me, will keep it whole,

if not you? if not me?
Send a postcard, picture, tell me
how you’ve been.


      Z.

Running down the stairwell in the garden,
I divide the steps by three, until my
foot catches the edge, wet with rain, and my
frame, flung forward by its own momentum,

leans into the night as if reaching
for something I didn’t know I
wanted. Not the moon. No. Not the sky,
suspended and limitless. Not even

the tulips standing on their stems
(their petals cup the air).
But in the streetlamp’s circle of light, I land

among them, broken.
My body can’t contain
itself, as blood burgeons in my hands.


Blas Falconer, “Dear Friend” from A Question of Gravity and Light. Copyright © 2007 by Blas Falconer. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press, 2007)
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Dear Friend

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  • Poet and editor Blas Falconer earned an MFA from the University of Maryland and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. He is the author of the poetry collections A Question of Gravity and Light (2007) and The Foundling Wheel (2012). The poems in his debut collection utilize both free verse and received forms to explore themes of sexuality, otherness, and loss. In a voice “at once detached and enlivened,” critic Yasmin Nair observes in a 2008 review of A Question of Gravity and Light for the Windy City Times, Falconer has created “a set of pieces whose apparent lightness belies the burden of grief and longing experienced by the narrator(s).” Speaking to the unifying principle behind the poems in A Question of Gravity and Light during an interview with poet Steven Cordoba...

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