“Cotton” Gabriel Gadfly

I spent days trying to write
the perfect letter for you.

I wrote and scratched out
words. I crumpled paper
until my floor started to think
it was a cotton field,
and I thought of inviting you
to come pick through it,

to see if you could find
the softness I was trying
to tell you about

but I was too afraid
your fingers would wear raw
on the bolls, that you would grow
tired of stooping
to pick up the things I’d grown
in my head

so I put an empty envelope
in your mailbox, and wrote

Love me, please,

on the outside,
instead.

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