You are receiving this letter because your
house is empty. The window on the second floor
is open and the long white curtain is blowing
out. As we drove by we wept
and checked our pockets for lottery tickets.
Your neighbor has too many wind chimes
and we noticed a dead armadillo
on your porch. We suspect your house
is haunted vacant. The painted stucco is like mint
ice cream. They don’t make wooden shutters
like yours anymore. We noticed no children
playing on your street. If you are still alive
reading this, we ask you to pay your taxes.
Come back and trim the raspberries. Throw out
the Morris chair. Watch the bees.
Pianos do not make good buckets.
If you are reading this, tell us why you left:
There is a fine for abandonment.
We will come to your new house
and take away your memories.
Karen Schubert’s newest chapbooks are Black Sand Beach (Kattywompus Press) and I Left My Wings on a Chair (Kent State Press), featured in the Best Dressed section of the Wardrobe by Sundress Publications. Her work appears or is forthcoming in American Literary Review, Ragazine, Best American Poetry Blog, PoetsArtists, and The Louisville Review. Her poem “Autobiography” was selected by Tony Hoagland for the first William Dickey Memorial Broadside Contest. A 2013 writer-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, she is a founding member of Lit Youngstown, a literary arts organization in Youngstown, Ohio.