Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jeffrey Woodward: DEAD LETTER OFFICE

Although you may count me among that number who are inclined to say, I would prefer not to, midway in my journey I do not find myself disoriented in a forest but here, in the Dead Letter Office, where the Fates, busily foreshortening somebody’s thread, have secured a position for me.

I often hear those white-robed and pale sisters over my shoulder, softly humming the Te Deum while employed at their spinning. Good Greek girls, they, too, are converted.

Meanwhile, my position is secure, for the sorting of this mail will not end. I almost said my purgatorial business but, in this trade, there is no cleansing. Instead, letter after letter with a bad or illegible address, with an intended recipient long departed – judgments for debts overdue, offerings of condolence, confessions of love: the destiny of every petition, no answer.
by Jeffrey Woodward
Detroit, Michigan
first published in Quartet (Teneriffe, Qld.: Post Pressed, 2008)

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