They took the mailbox away

on Cahuenga and Clinton.
I know because I wasnít feeling right,
decided to take a walk, figure things out,
remember why I love the clouds.
Found my rent check still in my purse,
gave me a goal, a project I could complete.
But when I got to the corner it was gone,
just space in the place where the box had been,
where Iíve deposited countless bills,
birthday cards, where once I tossed
a sticky half-eaten ice cream dish.
There was no garbage can in sight.
I gave it some serious thought, but now realize
the mess I made: may have destroyed a young girlís
last letter to her grandmother, stained a college
application -- what did admissions people think
when it arrived with chocolate sprinkles stuck
to the stamps -- worse yet a love letter someone
finally had the guts to send smeared with butterscotch
sauce, possibly obscuring the recipientís address,
sender never knowing it was not received,
and when I saw the empty corner
where the mailbox used to be,
granted out of place on that isolated street,
it hit me: the lives I ruined,
the mailmanís soiled hands.


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