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POEMS

Ransom Note Project

Ransom Note to Birthdays


Unhinge all the timeline posts
from your wall, and write them
out by hand. Confetti the fortunes,
bake them into a smash cake, one
you can push both hands into like
wet sand. Dust the icing for prints;
see how they’ve changed. Remember
the first day of your life. Return that
to me, and I will send you the miles
collected before you grew to be zero.
Also enclose the goodbyes that ring
in your ears every year and the déjà vu
that dances on each new candle. Don’t
ask questions. Press your breath into
a book autographed, “and many more.”

Ransom Note to Awkward Silence

Write legibly, “I’m sorry for
the nothing and for forcing

you to shoulder that uncomfortable
ferry ride.” It was just plain lazy.

Please add, “I’m sorry too
for not mentioning I can’t hear

that Elvis Costello song without
thinking of you.” Absolutely

no white out is permitted;
you’ve used invisible up. Pretend

the void is a blackboard and
scrawl 100 times, “You were

my favorite person.” If you know
what’s good for you, you will drop

your teal ink into the empty
like an anchor, hurl all

sentiment overboard. Move it,
honey, before you sink.

Ransom Note to Engagements


Please place 43 longing gazes in an envelope
licked shut by Tuesday at noon, and I’ll give
you your mind back. Hand over two eyes
fixed on yours truly, and the tornado drills
on your heart will cease. I am holding it
hostage until it releases me. If you know
what’s good for you detach and enclose:
one De Niro impression, six Annie Hall
references, and a recording of your voice
saying I smell nice. Slide it under the flicker
of a drive-in movie and no one will get hurt.

 
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