The first time you made love the bed looked like a crime scene
that no one wanted to investigate, even the boy whose heart you broke.
Elizabeth, two days later you chopped all your hair off with a kitchen knife
and buried it in the backyard beneath the willow tree.
Even now when the wind blows through its leaves,
you can still feel the strands whispering like ghosts around your face.
There is salt in your voice and sugar in your tears,
inviting men into your bed until it rocks like a boat
and everything you touch becomes a shipwreck.
Dear Elizabeth, one day you will stop learning how to crack eggshells
for the sole purpose of tiptoeing over them.
One day your hair will grow back and all the envelopes you lost to the sea
will be returned to you with extra postage included.
There will be a time when your shadow
will finally want to follow you
instead of turning its back on you when you need it most.
Elizabeth, one day when your room fills with water in a dream
you will remember all the people who taught you how to swim.