Letter with No Daredevil in Sight
I’m not a courageous person by nature.
I might spike my hair in the morning but I’ll wash it this afternoon.
Niagara Falls seems like an eternity from here.
I spent all summer inside, walked a track in my carpet until I was underground.
My veins are a tightrope waiting for some kind of fall.
I spoke your name only in secret.
There is no fireplace big enough for all of the ash I hold.
What is Canada to a man like me?
When meeting someone new: at first, they always look like someone else you know, your first grade teacher, the mailman, your best friend’s sister.
Gorge yourself on the words I leave in my wake, if you want.
They grab your hand and claim it’s nice to meet you. They insist.
(I checked with the local barrelman. He said they’re fresh out for the season.)
I’m not sure I believe them anymore.
I never wanted to be known for what I said more than what I do, but here we are, Claire.
Todd Osbourne’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming at The Missouri Review, The Collapsar, Hobart, Storm Cellar, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in poetry from Oklahoma State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi.