Letter No. 7 from Dear Portia

Dear Portia: when the water boils, I think of you & the words tattooed on our bodies, how the needle dragged across our skin & bled us, just slightly—does it bother you that someone could know our layers better than we do? The mechanics of a gun are simple; it’s the hand that’s complicated, that terrible thumb clicking back the hammer. Which do you prefer, the vibration or the sound? Dear Portia, in my closet is a darkness even the clothes can’t hold. Art is a synonym for lie, or is it truth? I hardly remember that voice coming over the radio, but I can hear you singing to her until your throat dries out, until there’s no road left to drive, until your tongue finds just enough saliva to ask,

What if Beethoven never actually heard
his metronome, what if he just liked the way
it felt when the needle hit his fingers?

Jenny Boychuk earned a BA in Writing from the University of Victoria. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Malahat Review, PRISM international, Room, Salt Hill Journal, The Pinch, and Birdfeast. She will begin her MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan this fall.