lover, i know i should be grateful, Mela Blust

Michael Diehl, Fade


lover, i know i should be grateful


who else has ever had a lover write them a letter each morning for ten years? in the filtered dawn sprinkled with crow’s calls i read your cursive telling me that i am a light illuminating your depths. telling me that i am a rope and you are still hanging on tight. what you do not mention is the location of my own rope. what i wish you would write is that you’ve let me save you enough that there’s nothing left to save me. what i wish you’d tell me is that now i can lie down and you’ll bring yellow flowers and coffee, and that bones heal, and drowning can be confused for swimming, and that summer will come again, and that there is meaning in the dead fawn with the scrap of pink ribbon tied around its neck. i wish you’d write about how it hurts to swallow and how i wring my hands. how i toss in the twilight and wake covered in sweat and whispering prayers, and i wish you’d tell me to remember that my ribcage is already a cathedral and i don’t have to beg anyone for forgiveness because it has already lived here between our bodies for so long that sometimes we lose it in the folds of life. tell me you see the worry etched on my face and buried in the weight on my hips. tell me the sky isn’t falling and if i can just wait another couple of hours you’ll walk through the door like you have hundreds of times and take me into the church of your worn hands. write about how you’ll kiss my forehead and i’ll wilt into you like a flower and then everything will seem less broken.

Mela Blust


Review by Ace Boggess

Mela Blust’s “lover, i know i should be grateful” is a perfect example of what a prose poem can do. The epistolary nature of the piece lends itself so easily to the form. It calls up beauty and sadness in sharp lines, but also in subtleties, responding in a sense to the other epistles that the reader must and does imagine, a hard trick to pull off for any writer. That said, while this is both prose poem and letter, it’s also a strong romantic verse. The poem’s conclusion, “you’ll kiss my forehead and i’ll wilt into you like a flower and then everything will seem less broken” leaves the reader overawed and in a state of love for both the narrator and the receiver of this note. This piece works on so many levels, a marvelous feat.


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

The abyssal difference between to have and to hold, to look and to see, to give and to offer. We are stuck in solitude, invisibility, so congenital and impenetrable that not even the most devoted love (however you think that should look/behave like) can help us to escape – no matter what greeting cards will tell you. This piece succeeds in feeling personal and yet universal. The hinted, on appearances illogical but genuine grievance, does not come in an outburst but in a murmur, which makes it so effective in drawing us with it.


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