Lucy, Upon Hearing of Charles Schultz’s Retirement and Upon Seeing the Giant Leopard Moth, Drafts a Letter to Charlie Brown
Like nothing we’ve ever known, but then,
we haven’t known much, have we, Charlie?
It was a slow Sunday, she landed on the newspaper
and had I breath, you know, it would have left me.
Because God’s drawing left our maker’s in the wake
of those wings. Glorious ornate things, the starkest black
and white, the velvet bullet of her body, orange
and black bands, the thinnest blue edge to the pattern
that recalls that shirt of yours: a horizontal thunderbolt
against a pumpkin-colored sky, and it came to me then:
we’re going nowhere. Infinite children, inked-in
by someone else’s hand. What does it count for?
My rage: the fist of it smaller than one bud of baby’s breath,
the good grief of your body, an abstraction I’m drawn
to in the imagination no one drew up for me.
The unfunny papers of our amaranthine forms,
perpetually-young and it’s so clear to me,
stuck in this stupid puffy dress I’ll never outgrow,
we should be beyond middle age by now,
yet we’ve no life cycle, not even a mothy one,
no eight days to fly and love—no kiss.
Are we just tattoos on the paper arm
of some giant god? Flex and we dance,
but we don’t, do we?
Even Schroeder’s piano that so moves me
is a mute flat thing. No one will hear the music
coming from it, but us, and we’re thin as any day,
and our story’s stopped in the telling.
Our own maker, Charlie, he’s put us down
for the duration.
Someone forget to tell him what we meant.
Write us a history we can live our way back
into, won’t you? Or a future to die against?
We can only hope for some kind of record. Hope,
that somewhere, a lunatic keeps our whole story bound
in brittle rubberbands where look at us, for Chuck’s sake,
look, thousands of dialogue bubbles hovered over us,
but as far as we know, we might never have said a word.