A Letter for Wendy
by Leah Billingsley



S buckle, C buckle, Z buckle. Big Bend's ancient geological uplifts
with a hitch in them, letters from silent stories.

Ernst Tinaja: a big rock bowl filled with fetid water, cloudy like a diseased eye.
Sometimes deer fall in and drown.

I dream of Wendy in the tinaja though the dream has moved it to Arkansas.
I think her crazy to be swimming there. She can't have fallen in.

Then I'm walking in our parents' house. My mother asks
"Where's Wendy?" She's right there.

Crouched in the hall, child-size and naked, with a beehive hairdo.
In the dream, I'm the only one who sees her.

Daybreak wind rushes through creosote bushes,
piles of rock stack like hives topped with unmarked wooden crosses,

graves cast long shadows. Someone still knows who
is buried where, still decorates each one for Dia de los Muertos.

All day I think "cirrhosis." What a pretty sounding word.
But the doctors said it was like drowning.

The white rainbow Milky Way arcs across the sky,
that same inverted bowl of lights as any other night.

I dream up my own constellations, tell my own stories
and christen a buckled W of stars.





Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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