Airstream next to the coast

Letter to America by D.S. Waldman

One Poem

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Self-Portrait, Remotely

Another Sunday and you’re on the porch,
on the phone with a friend who, a few weeks
back, on a mountaintop smeared white
with another country’s winter, finally asked
Camille to marry him, and it’s summer
and it’s SoCal, or it’s Kentucky and it’s winter,
and you’re on Zoom with your mother, or
her face, her hair gone white around a face
you know but, in its small frame, however
many time zones away, looks more and more
like photos you’ve seen of her father
—and less like you—and one of you pulls
tight sips from a mason jar of white wine while
the other, running a finger along the table’s
woodgrain, says some neutral and efforted thing
about your father and, in the background,
on a countertop TV, an anchorwoman’s mouthing
the hushed news of another synagogue shot up
in a city you may or may not have, at some point,
called home and the police chief is promising
a thorough investigation and, not far from
your mother’s place, up the 64 in Louisville,
the police enter a woman’s home, leave her lying
there full of holes and everything, you think,
everywhere, is full of holes and Yeah, you hear
your mother, between sips, longingly, it’s been quite
a while, now… I miss you is all. Another Sunday
and it’s summer in SoCal, or it’s Kentucky
and winter. Another friend on Zoom, this one,
living a few hours up the coast in an airstream
he patched up and polished, asks how your folks
are doing, his eyes lowering somewhat as if
braced for impact, and I’m not sure, you say,
we’re still… patching things up, and he nods
and opens his mouth but, before he can say
that reassuring thing he says, is cut off
by the screen informing you your meeting has
ended and that, for just $9.99/month,
you can talk uninterrupted for up to a year.  




D.S. WaldmanD.S. Waldman teaches creative writing in San Diego, California. His work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, The Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, 32 Poems, and Colorado Review. Catch up with him at

Header image by Steve Adcock, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of D.S. Waldman by Lindsay Stewart.






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