Poetry: Dear Derek –Blake Bergeron

Dear Derek,

I hope this note finds you well,
though I do accept that it may likely find you
unconscious at the foot of some stairs:
May your many private selves
form a post-punk band & tour North America
in a Volkswagen bus. Look outside
at the familiarities blooming in
the trash cans, the cats leaping short
of the water colored shingles. Tap
the aluminum trickle in your chest
& reassess an orange,
how its bitter skin is no offense
to sweetnesses therein.
What remains of winter?
Letting your hands get just cold enough, I think.
In some ways you are a magazine.
In most others you are a fortune cookie.
Remember when you told me
that beaches were eating the country?
That the best way to reach the sweetest upper peaches
was to forget you wanted them at all? Friend,
I find providence in a desperate state.
Sand in our shoes, our watches.
Did I tell you about the painter who painted
a fire so real it burned his brush?
He rushed out of his studio just as the flames
reached the doorway. He sat in the grass
& smoked 1,000,746 cigarettes, contemplating
how just the day before he’d seen god
in his underwear drawer.
I find this instructive in the best possible way
& know I don’t have to explain the meaning of this to you
because you were the painter & I, lit
was the fifth cigarette.

Blake Bergeron is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His poems have appeared in Route Nine and The Alembic. He lives in Florence, MA.

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