Letter to a Lover

Today I am going to pick you up at the beige airport.
My heart feels like a field of calves in the sun.
My heart is wired directly to the power source of mediocre songs.
I am trying to catch a ray of sunlight in my mouth.

I look forward to showing you my new furniture.
I look forward to the telephone ringing, it is not you,
you are in the kitchen trying to figure out the coffeemaker,
you are pouring out the contents of your backpack.

I wonder if you now have golden fur?
I wonder if your arsenal of kind remarks is empty?
I remember when I met you you were wearing a grey dress,
that was also blue, not unlike the water plus the sky.

They say it’s difficult to put a leash on a hummingbird.
So let us be no longer the actuary of each other!
Let us bow no longer our heads to the tyranny of numbers!
Hurry off the plane, with your rhinestone covered bag

full of magazines that check up on the downfall of the stars.
I will be waiting for you at the bottom of the moving stairs.

by Matthew Zapruder

© Matthew Zapruder and Copper Canyon Press, 2010. 

‘Letter to a Lover’ is taken from Come On All You Ghosts, and reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Notes courtesy of Copper Canyon:

Editor, translator, and winner of the William Carlos Williams Award, Matthew Zapruder in his third book blends humor and invention with love and loss, as when the breath of a lover is compared to “a field of titanium gravestones / growing warmer in the sun.” The title poem is an elegy for heroes and mentors—from David Foster Wallace to Zapruder’s father—and demonstrates a new, expansive range for the poet, highlighting as well a larger body of poetry that is surprising and direct: writing that wrestles with the desires to live rightly, to make art, and to confront the vast events of the day.

Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, American Linden(Tupelo Press, 2002), The Pajamaist (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), and Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming 2010). The Pajamaist was selected by Tony Hoagland as the winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was chosen by Library Journal as one of the top ten poetry volumes of 2006. He has been a Lannan Literary Fellow in Marfa, Texas, and a recipient of a May Sarton prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He works as an editor for Wave Books, is a member of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert’s Low Residency M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and is the Fall 2010 Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley. He lives in San Francisco.

Copper Canyon Press is a nonprofit publisher that believes poetry is vital to language and living. Since 1972, the Press has published poetry exclusively and has established an international reputation for its commitment to authors, editorial acumen, and dedication to the poetry audience. As the preeminent independent publisher of poetry, Copper Canyon Press fosters the work of emerging, established, and world-renowned poets for an expanding audience.