Jessica Bundschuh
Moving Postcards

Dear Pebble,
On an afternoon walk to no particular place, a small stack of pebbles will lie at my feet; I will make up their histories for any lover: looking into his blue or brown eyes, explaining how they will bounce along the riverbed like letters in a sloppy sentence, pebbles worn round and smooth by abrasions, no place to go but downward, to the ocean; I will tell the story as if it were my own, my mouth opening each letter; and as my lips will open, pulling out the last rrrrr sound, he will certainly see my pleasure in making this sound—raunchy, rough, like a motor revving, and my tongue will suspend itself in the middle of my mouth, like a guilty lover’s; what I will say with aplomb is how I love how grey they are, all of one colour; I will bend to pick up a pebble, a smooth one, and taste it—running my tongue across its surface (to hear its salty, marrow-ribboned history, how it will come from a distant sea; how it will have no mother, no father, and no vowels to spare for its dry, hot future: OOO).

Dear Gondola,
Unser schönes Südtirol will write my dead German mother-in-law on a creased and scalloped photo. She will it hold against her umbrella, posting letters outside the hotel. Without gravity, she will slide in a gondola towards ceramic blue, higher certainly than any god, and she will let the clouds greet her, snaking her waist, while she takes picture after picture of the highest place she will ever stand—the film will stay undeveloped. She will then pass back and forth across the village wall, the five tower gates, and the church steeple—still awfully brave and awfully Gothic—to secure for me the precise dot-dot-dot […] when the up-gondola and the down-gondola will kiss and will embrace their swing or Schwung, while her streaked gondola window will reflect her passage outside: the clouds will lift between the tulip poplars and her warm breath will still on glass—and later a batting taffeta lid—caught in tomorrow’s quiet emergency, tomorrow’s unsent postcards.