By Andrew Purcell

“Sadly, there is gold at the bottom of the ocean.” —Anirban Acharya


At the time of this letter, something founders beneath the Perseids,
tear-struck, salt into salt; I’m sorry.
Because I stared while you bit the soaked lime
and juice ran down your neck to your breast.
Because the ocean between us is the ocean of wisdom.
Because lead sinks ever inward, plumbing a further deep.

How this letter will find you even you cannot say, sublime
or a decadent wreck; I can only hope you are not seized
by the summer’s torpor, dreams in dreams of a winter beach,
your sleep half sand, half snow.
I can only hope that seawater beads along your back
and you are free.

Each meteor’s white reddens to darkness above,
whether we watch or not, the verge between us delicate
as the fibrous crystals of purified caffeine.
To sit with you is to be tender and too chaste,
while that which is base in me sinks, turning precious
as it settles, a shimmering of ingots and funerary masks.


Andrew Purcell lives and works in Syracuse, New York. He has met Patrick Lawler.

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