Dear P. I

How to begin without the softness of
sentimentality?  It exhales from my pencil,
from the edge of my hair, through the
heart as something wept, seeps down my
arm through my fingers and comes out
as speech, a soft speech, sponge speech,
a speech that speaks for me and fills this
page with seaweed, green swaths of love.
I cross them out, force new words, storm
words out through a straw.  But they take
the shape of a girl’s handwriting.  There’s
a heart on the lower-case i.  It looks like a
microphone.  When I sing into it, my voice
comes back higher-pitched, like a whistle.