Letter to Jan
Jani. You send me dimly lit photos from Wurtzburg and I wonder if the sky is always so grey, or if it is still just you. We talk every day now and when I say I’m doing alright you always reply that I can leave North America and her bright wide way whenever I wish. I turn the idea over in my mind and try to imagine you on cobblestone roads. I cannot. We are asphalt kids, children of merchant marines. Mohawks and muscle tanks, sailing practice set to Lars Frederiksen. A couple of bastards. Do you ever think of the docks? I swear, sometimes I can still smell the brine on my hands. No ivy league degree seems to get it out. No poetry workshop knows what I know about a changing tide. We are both so far from that island now and yet the more Michelin Stars you earn in Germany the more I think of it. What does it mean to be of a place? To have marsh water blood and Bawlmer woes. What language are we?
Tide’s a low 0.2 feet now and rising in Fells Point, but the Baltic does not respond to diurnal tide forces and so it remains unchanged. Even the moon can’t control Eastern Europe. Ask your old man how a catboat would fare there. Ask your old man if a son on the Baltic Sea can ever be moved.
I should pull the old photos from the basement before we are too old to find ourselves in them. The portal through them is the only way either of us will ever go back.
It’s like Alex said after he yelled goodbye to Lenin; try not to forget.The future is still in our hands, uncertain and promising.