Correspondence sans Violin
Karen Lepri

dear a.,

            have you found them

huddled in ash

their fat leaves like parasols

            over burnt hills

they were mine.   of me.

they glued as directed.


dear c.,

            black wand of my arm

does not listen in english

should your right hand replace

            this strap on me

cool and wrinkled

the wash still in the air

dear a.,

            the grapes hang almost patio-long

floor of last night a shot flown

across the yard something deep

black I need the record loud

to feel you in my throat it is

my neck the neck you told me


dear c.,

            no music here but the rustle

of dried pasta when the wind

jars the kitchen   grains of

flour echoing against the space

between other grains

dear a.,

            bottom sole stencil like

the viol back you cut out

the record box my needle

riding its stiff outline the skin

pulled tight down to the plank

it croons when it rubs certain times


dear c.,

            night all I hear shoes shoes

the street a thick tambourine skin

and all night multitudes of legs

their regularity hinged on clouds

of dust some whistle to tell when to turn

dear a.,

            sandal in the palm of my hand

feels missing as of space not filled

with sound another space integrally

vacant finds its tenant gone and still

strings   gums   resins   wood

you tell me collect nothing wait

the rented day ends covered in


dear c.,

            listen this: crinkle lair

orange path to ridge cave

the syc. buds about to about

and sigh

sigh feathers

you sing-read it, c.

see the moon not thought

dear a.,

            which pebbles gone which

return seeming to loose the strings

of your shoes the shaken case

of rubble bits of resin pinching my

feet when I cross from closet to bed

closest distance in waltz

my two-step punctured


dear c.,

            sorry soles you bear

take the open half of an apple

from the yard to rub them

or grapes mashed with salt

to suck the impure we have

to wait many years before

we even meet for the first

time at the radio station

Karen Lepri holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. Her poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in Boston Review, Chicago Review, Lana Turner, Mandorla, and Shearsman, among others. She is the author of the chapbook Fig. I (Horse Less Press) and received the 2012 Noemi Poetry Prize for her forthcoming full-length collection of poetry.