the empty envelope

“ENVELOPE (noun)
The coffin of a document; the scabbard of a bill; the husk of a remittance; the bed-gown of a love-letter.”
-Ambrose Bierce


I wish I could iron you right out of me

like a wrinkle. I would press away

all those nights of cheap red wine

and Jack Johnson on repeat,

all those mornings of weak cups 

of coffee and Channel Three news.

I would press away all those nights

that you never came home,

all those mornings that you crept

in the door while I pretended

to be asleep. You would crawl

into bed precariously and fold yourself 

into the bed sheets and I would listen 

as your heart beat slowed itself down.

Red wine still gets me drunk

and weak coffee still makes me cringe

and Rachel Smalley is still talking

about that slight chance of rain,

but it’s been days since you’ve

crawled beneath the covers

and I’m beginning to wonder

how long it will take this iron

to heat up.