Open Letter

To Rush Limbaugh,
From Frank, the Retired Postal Worker

I draw a picture of you
with my number two pencil
a stout guy like me
rough jaw
the murky rational
national maw.

I sweeten your lips
with a finger dipped
in the Ole George whiskey sour
lying silky in my glass.
I slide the picture into a bottle
not one smooth push

more like you’re in grand mal
a curled and slightly crumpled fall.
This is a love spell
so you will think well
of me and my people
as we step over the ground swell,

the eggshells under our nation.
Your half-rolled picture makes a canal
I fill it with petals and candy …
except I forgot to get the petals
from the florist shop
and my Labrador ate most of the candy.

So cottonwood leaves as dry
as ashes are the petals
and the candy is wires of
Red Vines that the neighbor kids
won’t eat, stuck out at awkward angles.
This bottle is a fissure
to claim the flush of fire

of things gone wrong —
around sticky red sugar ropes
(the blood vessels of the well-wined)
the leaves cling as hobo shawls
crumbled and dirty. This is a tincture
of your tired August eyes

which find me, scared
yes, even with you hushed
behind glass and specks
of liquor-browned leaf.
This is a love spell.
Courage, then –

Shall we dance tonight?
Our steps nimble
among the square homes
in the Heights
our dips into mail slots,
we hear the local news lurking

low like talk radio;
we smell the cheap meat frying.
The people’s letters and flyers
and bills, always bills,
are like a gown for me, fluttering
in the northwest wind and fetches.

The American jazz note
gushed out to dim
leaving the saw of your voice
our music.