Return to Sender

La Mort de Marat, Jacques-Louis David

At the end of my driveway, on the left, lonely
as a radio tower, the mailbox transmits no news
from you. Low-frequency waves convey

through the box’s black the presence of grocery
store coupons and bank statements. For a single
stamp, count forty-six cents, to mailbox and back

count forty-five steps, including the turn halfway.
A storm delivers a bank of snow. I sort this ice
with a bare hand. Stamp prices drop, I alone

this century lose money, wait for your letter, your note.
Passive, I observe a plow blade reap the mailbox.
Tunnel-top lands headfirst in the ditch, wooden post

rests across the curb, and the red semaphore flag
arrives on starched-white driveway ice, a bright
schoolyard nosebleed. I mail my letters nowhere.

I write again, again. I kneel below La Mort de Marat,
pray to patron saint of post, post scriptum, postpartum.
This is the Zodiac speaking: the letter is a silent art.