Tenth Letter

                    For every J.—

[I]t’s good to have things done with
when they don’t work
it’s also good not to hate
or even forget
the person you’ve failed

Broken glass where your heart should be
fist clenching an emptiness thirst
never lets you down enough drinks
or glimpses of, the tenth letter

what hurts most for a man of so
many words and so few friends, crushed
to near-deafness by your own mouth’s
verbose alphabitterness, touched

by talk besting your thoughts’ process
stalling your cunning’s worst efforts
to remain elusive, love is
your nemesis, as I am, sure

as silence evidences its
victory when, at last, we kiss.

1Charles Bukowski, “the killer smiles [sic]”, [Stanza 1, Line 5–10], in Play the Piano Drunk like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit, published at New York by Ecco in 2003; page 107.