Letter [Class] 01/30/13

Dear Reader,


I have to write

in Intro Lit quick, these

students are watching,

listening to my pencil squeak

against this paper.

“The child has the

Oedipal complex,” they whisper.

“Sleep with your mother.”

Pennies shatter against tile.

“Kill your father,” they

say (moan). But what about

my brother? A bowl

of ashes, blue, dead,

already dust— reader,

don’t criticize me, I’m

listening: “Time is money,”

they say. Money has

no place in poetry, only

family. One dollar

for your mother. Half

for Dad. And your brother;

that useless dust

of memory…give him

your life. Every second.



Jonathan Mundell’s work has appeared in Twyckenham Notes, West Trade Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, Plum Recruit, and is forthcoming in Levee. He currently lives and teaches in South Florida.