michael burkard

 

BLACK HORSE IN WHITE ENVELOPES

 

 

for mpt

1 Boxes of meaning.

20 Little books about fire.

3

Kim’s drawing:

“Mask” in bed–“I don’t want

dad to know I’m afraid of

anything.”

4

Umbrella angel.

Suit of death.

When relatives

want to disappear.

5

The word “erotica”

outweighed all the other clouds.

6

When talking about black horses

in white envelopes we are obviously

talking about very small horses.

It is important to tell just how,

if at all, the horses died, and to

be precise as to whether the horses

are figuratively dead or really dead.

The envelopes become less and less

important.

7

But days later the envelopes

become more important in unexpected

ways. You realize very deeply

they are white, not off-white

or almost-white or anything-else-

white but white. They are also

very small, not much larger

than the small black horses.

 

8

Unspeakable boxes of the small

riders on the small black horses

placed in small white envelopes.

These boxes however small remain

good for breathing, fine for

breathing, but most of all remind

riders and horses and envelopes

alike of what a small gift breathing

is.

 

9

Fire is the next time.

A little fire to read a little

book by by a little rider resting

her little horse before she remounts

to enter little envelope.

 

10

Father, dad, do you see how small

your daughter has become, if even

small for just a moment? As children

we often have this strange but adhesive

and natural sensation of the small.

It colors a world.

 

11

To color a world: black and white are colors.

We realize this now from the lack of black

and white films and black and white photography.

Together they served as one of the Masks Kim

could wear, Donna could wear, I could wear.

 

 

12

At the Hotel Vallejo you could rent

an umbrella for two dollars an afternoon,

death for five dollars an evening,

a relative for ten dollars (breakfast included),

and a suit of death for fifteen

(a special weekend rate).

If you rented the whole package you

could also disappear for a week

for another five dollars. It is of no

use to fall away from the hotel or to

pretend you are not interested.

Face it, M., you are interested.

Tell Donna.

 

 

14

Outside the hotel are small riders

on small horses and a word you cannot find.

The horses have not died.

The clouds have not died.

No one has died or come to.