Letter to Anne from Kitsilano
Last night I dreamt about your family, like I sometimes do
when I’m feeling particularly far away from everything.
Days go by that I don’t speak a word and yet it’s fine,
somehow. I swim length after length at the pool,
where underwater everything is quieter still.
I’ve taken to writing more letters lately.
In part, I think, to remind myself that I’m here.
The sun is out and everyone in the city with it, happy
for as long as this lasts. Black-capped chickadees sing
outside my window like they do at home, that hey
sweetie song like a boomerang. They remind me of you
sneezing in the orchard grass, rubbing your nose so hard
I had to look away. Anne, did you know the moon was full
this February? A rarity. Visible at midday like a pinball, flickering.
It’s the first leap year since your grandmother’s death.
How fitting, someone said, that she should leave you only
one day every four years to grieve. How full she was, too.
The odd bird disrupts my thoughts, thinking my window
the sky. It’s raining again. Your brother said once
how he likes the weather in San Francisco, its predictability.
Here, the winter seems shorter than ever. The tulips
will soon be out, drunken, heavy-headed. Cats will needle
through the backyards to wail and the mailmen
will pull on their white shorts. Out east, you will
stop wearing mittens. We both know they won’t
all be good days, and somehow, that too is okay.