San Francisco
March 26, 1998

Dear Amanda,

I'm enclosing to this letter the poem you and I talked about when we had dinner last week.

I thought you might like it. I wrote it about a year ago, and it's very intimate and ... No, no, I won't comment on it anymore. I will let you tell me if you like it.

I think I've learned that lesson after our first date.




Is that a new sweater?
Is that new?
A sweater?

It's cold,
And I raise my hand
Trying to answer
The question
No one dares to ask.

Is that a new sweater?
Is it new?
Do you swear?

It rained,
And the drain down the street
Was clogged and stuffed with mud
And a plethora
Of small things
Washed away by the ignorance
Of the rain.

I'm sorry!
I don't mean to be rude,
But the rain
Is oblivious to you,
And me,
And the rest of the world.
Just like them,
Just like everyone else.

I'm not cruel
Nor a fatalist.
I'm just playing
With words,
Which is not to say much
For no one is here
To save me
Or my thoughts,
Or, even,
Hear my opinions
About society,
Or Math.

It's less important
Than that.
I figured you would say Yes
Just because
You like the
Sound of the word
Better than No.


I'm sorry.
I don't mean to intrude,
Or imply
That I know you.
It was, after all,
Just a hunch,
Just an idea,
A gut feeling.

Funny things
They make you believe.
Almost as funny
As the ones you
Want to believe.

It matters not.
They are all gone now,
Nothing is left over
From breakfast,
The dishes remain
Dirty and undone,
Hidden down in the sink,
Like an inconvenient relative,
An undesired guest.

Can I give you a call later?
Are you going to be home?
I'm sorry,
I don't mean to invade your privacy,
Pry into your life.

Have I told you remind me
Of someone?
I thought I had,
I thought I had believed in you
From day one.

I must've'been mistaken.
That happens often,
Sometimes more often
Than others.

What am I going to do now?
What am I supposed to say
To them,
Or to myself?
That it was a mistake?
A summer thunder storm
That lasted
A couple minutes?

But I've never liked
Thunder storms.
Neither in the summer,
In the winter.

I don't even know
Why I said Yes
In the first place.
Was it ambition?
Was it too much ambition?

I'm sorry,
I don't mean to intrude.
Is that a new sweater
You have on?
A new sweater?

Oh, I should've known
One should not ask
Those questions.
Some people call me perky
Even when I suggest
That I don't know
The meaning of the word.

Very few words
Have true meaning
When spoken by the mouth
Of the average man.

Only angels, or any other kind
Of ultimate deities,
Should pronounce some words.

Oh, I know.
It wouldn't be much fun that way,
Would it?
Our lives
Would just be too plain.
And we despise
Even when we ask
For it!

It's still all there,
You know?
The street,
The dictionary,
The television set,
The glass window
Without curtains...

I'm right, am I?
For God's sake
You could answer me
At once for a change.


What else?

I'm sorry.
Do you remember that job?
Of course you don't.
What do you care?
Well, it's not important anymore.
The company
Went bankrupt.

Don't be sorry.
I know, I know you don't
Mean to intrude.

They didn't pay
Well anyway.

What did you say?
I wish I could hear you.
I can never hear you.
I believe this conversation
Is dying.
Maybe it's the battery.
The battery
Always fails.

Maybe if I push a button...

I'm cold.
It's cold in here still.
Do you have a sweater?
Excuse me madam,
Would you have a
Spare sweater?

I'm sorry.
I think you misunderstood me.
I don't want your privacy.
Not today,
At least.
I suppose...

I'm not up
For conversation.
I'm vastly unspoken with or of.

I quit that,
Smoking that is.
It was after college.

I do.
I still feel teased,
Tempted by it.

Not today.
But I will let you know
Or some other day,
Some other time.

I left my job today.
I didn't even know
I had a job.
Someone should've told me.

I'm not sorry.

Don't be sorry!

Is that a sweater,

Oh, I see.
And you're not cold,
I suppose.

The streets feel warmer
Than inside those walls.

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