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IM To A Facebook Friend


IM to a Facebook Friend


I sometimes daydream of the IM I’d write to you, Facebook friend, so long ago my cherished student in that gracious cream brick building, dusty oak floors, enormous poured glass windows in the room where I hoped to offer each of you a glimpse into a world beyond yourselves. I’d begin the message by assuring you it’s not a pop quiz (wink emoji), not a gotcha question (smile), saying then I imagine how we could exchange places in that musty classroom, you in front

of the blackboard, me in a deskchair

around the circle, not raising my hand,

just listening as you explain how


the good soul I once knew, the righteous

adult I now see online, might champion

a man like Hawthorne’s Roger Chillingworth

(remember how we talked about his twisted

soul inside that sacred space?), a bitter man

consumed with cowardly self-interest, false

pride, unholy vengeance, such an odd choice

of savior to so many in this unhappy country,


even, it seems, to you, a 21st century Noah,

Leah, Abraham, Zipporah, so I hold my peace,

listening for your truth that it might shake mine

loose, and when the bell rings we’d walk out

into what would be a long ago spring day,

down the stone steps, the two of us crossing

the phony line made up by false prophets

separating the saved and the damned.

.


—SL, Sept. 2022, New Paltz, NY



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