589 characters by Jaimie Gusman

when I am writing to you, I am a two-timing buzzword.
when I am writing “you” I decide not to use your real name.
when I am writing you I do not use blood or ink or water.
when I am writing you I think of the last letter read in each last city.
when I am writing you, I believe you have escaped.
when I am writing you, picture the scenic route.
when I am writing you, euphoria, and then a spanking.
when I am writing you, alley alley ocean free.
when I am writing “you” I decide to use your real name.
when I am writing you a mountain will stand in the way.
when I am writing you I will forget the address.
when I am writing you there are silk pajama bottoms.
when I am writing you I am using gps to no avail.
when I am writing you I commission a poet.
when I am writing you the poetry is worse because of the money.
when I am writing you, you are reading someone else.
when I am writing you, imagine Jorie Graham instead, gliding by on a yacht called for Emily.
when I am writing you, imagine someone less mythical, but definitely a woman.
when I am writing you, get someone relevant on the phone.
when I am writing you, repeat after me, “I am a god.”
when I am writing you, try not to think about the road blood vessels travel.
when I am writing you, pick up the pen and hold it to your head.
when I am writing you, the mountain will proceed to silently crackle.
when I am writing you, I will also show you my spaces.
when I am writing you, down the hatch.
when I a writing you, I assume delivery.
when I am writing you, please receive me with gloves.
when I am writing you there is guilt and pleasure.
when I am writing to you I am yours, truly.
when I am writing you the steering wheel is off-center.
when I am writing you the film reel is stopped.
when I am writing you the plot thickens and someone cuts the wrong wire.
when I am writing you remember that they are only lines.
when I am writing remember that I have memorized the words.
when I am writing to you, a muscle memory of your heart-thread unravels.
when I am writing to you it will be in in someone else’s house,
when I am writing you to clean up the mess.
when I am writing you there is plurality.
when I am writing to you do not think this is repetition, or this is repetitious trick.
when I am writing to you I will say something and you will read it thrice.
when I am writing you you will have a name, maybe our grandmother’s.
when I am writing there will be no choice but to put the pen back in its holster.
when I am writing you the words will be blue (forgery is too easy).
when I am writing you I am saddled up and taking you on an adventure.
when I am writing you turn to page 52.
when I am writing you read the fine print and then blow up the proportions.
when I am writing you the evidence should also be burned.
when I am writing to you for safety, I signal the paper doll.
when I am writing to you I am carefully worded, and too wounded.

About the Author:

Jaimie Gusman is a writer and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time she runs Mixing Innovative Arts, a monthly reading series that holds summer workshops, which are free and open to the public on Oahu.