Found Letter, Collaged Back Together by Caroline Kessler

Found Letter, Collaged Back Together

Caroline Kessler

It’s okay / you’re allowed
     to bee-
line for the summer dawn / it’s a new era! they say

Go ahead::::::::::

     Sink into a wooden place
you’ve invented,
     a redwood tub of warmth, surrounded
by steam. You’re better this way,
     all your edges smoothed out

Be grateful to know the language
     everyone else wants to know / needs to know

Muse about how you arrived           here
     in this steep city of year-round
sunlight, of legends, of art on every street
     corner (murals/naked men/water on three sides)

You want to be near-
     ly crushed by the weight of another body
a reminder of how not-fragile
     you are / more! more weight, you whisper
to the ear hovering near your mouth, the ear of a heavy
     human, or the ear of a god-like thing / I can take it


Nearing the glass lake, you become
     another version / vision entirely

Don’t forget your heart at the silty bottom, or else ________.
     The blank is the overwhelming dizziness
when you stand up too quickly, black pinpricks decorating
     the backs of your eyelids

When you emerge from the lake’s sheath, water trundles
     off your back, a downward course of surety
Your skin dries in the northern sun, puckering,
     the freckles folding into new arrangements

In your white-rimmed sunglasses,
     you know a sliver of everything.


©Caroline Kessler


Caroline KesslerCaroline Kessler is a freelance writer, editor, and facilitator living in south Berkeley. Her poetry has been published in The Susquehanna Review, Sundog Lit, Anderbo, Superstition Review, Up the Staircase, and Treehouse, among others. She is also the co-founder of The 18 Somethings Project, a writing adventure. Stalk her online at