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    black and white photo of a pile of cassette tapes

    Poem: An Old Cassette-Letter

    By Andrew Frisardi

    October 26, 2021
    • Eithna

      Wow! Moving my heart to stillness, sadness and wordless wonder!

    One side is you, the other’s me, recorded
    After I’d moved away when we were young.
    At odds, we clung. We couldn’t have afforded
    To lose each other, we were both so strung
    On complementary hurt: my ulcered tongue,
    Your guttural self-doubt. These days I’d say
    To us: Let go. Before long we’ll be flung
    Beyond the range our voices have today.

    But what’s the use? I couldn’t say it then,
    And I’ve survived, while you, by choice, have not.
    Your words, straining as if to free your thought
    At last, replay inside my heart again,
    In starts and stutters that I wouldn’t hear
    If what became of distance were not near.


    black and white photo of a pile of cassette tapes

    Photograph by Mayte Wisniewski

    This poem was shortlisted for the Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award in 2021. Find out more details and how to enter your poems.

    Contributed By Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi

    Andrew Frisardi is the author of The Harvest and the Lamp and Love’s Scribe: Reading Dante in the Book of Creation. The paperback edition of his annotated translation of Dante’s Convivio will be available December 2021.

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