Oyster Boy Review 04  
  Spring 1996
» Cover

» Art
» Poetry
» Essays
» Contributors

» Oyster Boy Review
» Levee 67


Letters from the Evaporated City

Jennifer M. Pierson

DAY 17
We wait. Trees are dying. There is no one left to wipe away the tears but we keep on crying. Days are never the same, we have lost so much with the weather. Naomi kept the virgin, stone pillar with child. Over and over I head her sighing. Saw her fall to the ground and she did not move for a long time. Can't remember the reason. Absence. Something we've had is gone. Breathing is much harder now.

DAY 53
Please collect the pockets when you arrive. Money has become useless. We use it for fires but only smoke appears. We can't stay warm. The surface is harsh. We worry. Especially at night. The last bird was weeks ago. Can't tell who's left.

DAY 492
Some of us ran away, we were hit so hard. A few have come back. No response. There has been an incessant singing. It is high and almost sweet. It troubles my ears. I waited but then my eyes failed. A long time passed before I could see again. I can't see well. I am old. I wasn't old before, was I? No. I thought not.

DAY 530
The place beyond is no longer known. We fear the dark. It has too many voices. The light that leaches through doesn't help, it's like us. It's all grey. We laugh. I wish you could see the way we are when you aren't watching.

DAY 1,188
The way we used to dance, I remember that. Remember dancing? Compressed bodies.

There is no music now. You used to wear green ridiculous ties. That way you had of chewing on bread, I can see that. But the air changes everything. Jorgen says it's how we think. I wish you would come to stay.

DAY 3,002
Now, it is all business. Trees arrived last week. Oh, Naomi's made it through. There are boxes of five-and-twenty-dollar bills hidden under the scrim. Be careful. It is cold here but that is how it's been. No fires yet. No shadows. We lost all of that. This isn't something new. It's something older. We can't remember. But, we carry on. Some recall the old songs. Anyway, who's left to say it's wrong? We see the end. The stage is set. When we practice our pirouettes, a halo of sobbing rises from below.

Don't forget the light.