The Letter Always Arrives At Its Destination
By Niall Campbell
Then I wrote often to the sea,
to its sunk rope and its salt bed,
to the large weed mass lipping the bay.
The small glass bottles would be lined
along the bedroom floor – ship green
or church-glass clear – such envelopes
of sea-mail. Only on the day
of sending would a note be fed
into each swollen, brittle hull –
I had my phases: for so long
it was maps: maps of wader nests,
burrows and foxes’ dens, maps where
nothing was in its true position –
my landscape blooming from the surf.
Later, I’d write my crushes’ names
onto the paper, as a small gift.
The caps then tested and wax sealed.
None ever reached my dreamed America,
its milk-white shore, as most would sink
between the pier and the breakwater,
and I would find that I had written
about the grass to the drowned sand,
again; and to the sunken dark,
I had sent all the light I knew.