I’ve been stealing words all summer --
ones in new languages to write
new places onto the backs of post cards,
exchanged for coins and flown off to Pennsylvania
where my grandmother never leaves
her room except when a post card comes,
and the pictures and words spirit her away.
No more than a paragraph on each one,
yet by now I’ve sent at least 15 paragraphs.
You would love it here.
I went to chiesa in Rome today.
Sawatdee ka from Thailand!
Nothing real, only a few words to paint full days
onto flimsy cardboard.
The real words come from the authors
whose voices wake me up each morning
on the vineyard in Potentino as I tuck the leaves
towards the sun, from the Italian men working
at my side. I write down the words I love,
the phrases I’ll use again. The ideas I’ll believe,
and share with a boy in Brazil. Mergulhar, he writes,
of the dive he’s taking with me. Into me, my stomach fluttering
with each new letter, our email chain growing longer
and longer, paragraphs stretching from my traveling laptop
to his desktop in Bagé. He has no address.
And so I share them, my favorite words, stolen
and earnest, writing a world between us,
our bodies invisible but existing,
minds whirring, fingers tapping,