I know something about godforsaken places.
Walking on the beach alone, far from the Dead Sea,
I thought I saw a horseshoe crab crawling slowly—
it was a Gideon Society, black Bible cover.
Another time, washed up on a Montauk dune,
I found a Chianti wine bottle
with a letter in it. I read to myself
a child’s handwriting: “Hello,
let’s make friends. Please call,” she gave her phone number.
I held the bottle a week before calling, then asked
for Mary Jane, in my best Portuguese accent,
I am Pessoa. I’m calling from Por-tu-gal.
I’ll be your friend. She called her father
and mother to the phone. I gave a good performance.
That’s the way it is with you, dear reader.

More Poems by Stanley Moss