Priscilla Becker

Communication by the Remnants of Fire

When I got your note, the little
exploded plant fibers inside, in the muted
camouflage of the vegetable kingdom
and the smell of the swamp, but also
of your Chanel face powder that you sold
your employer’s books on the side for a month to buy,
the yellowed blotches on the paper
and the brown spot that framed
a transparency, made a collage.


The envelope sounded very old,
like the dryness just before disintegrating,
or the scratching wings of insects in trees,
and there was a fragment of a yellow print
obscuring your words which had been smudged
by a fraction of an ounce of Chanel Mademoiselle.
I tried to scrape together enough dust
to fill a bowl or roll a minuscule cigarette.
I thought perhaps that this was your intent.