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Dear M.—

Now, late afternoon and July’s glazed air sulks in the gutters.
The Japanese beetles have returned, all mouth and iridescence,
the roses’ leaves now skeletal, the only ruins I travel to. When has beauty
ever been left alone? What is poignancy, if not the wounded
scents of the heirlooms, the Rosa Mundi, the Rosa Damask?
I’m a saturation left to wander the yard’s operatic light.
That last summer you said swarm is a word that sounds made
of hum and flight. You said that heat should accomplish
certain things—like passion. That demise should amount to something
other than more demise.


Melissa Carl teaches world cultures, advanced placement European history and gifted seminar in York, Penn. She lives with her husband, son, dingo, and a dozen hermit crabs. Melissa’s soul requires ocean, so she spends her summers in Oak Island.

© 2013, Melissa Carl

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