Dear James Wright,
I have never experienced dark kindness but I have a moving story I would like to tell you. Once when I was an eleven year old girl I was in love with a twelve year old girl who played the viola. She would hold that viola the way something so fragile deserved to be held and while she played I looked at her. I felt a terrible pain where my breasts would someday be but were not yet. Do you know that her name was Jamie? I never told her that I wanted to hold her like a viola because a viola has a C-string that is so low and quiet and dangerous like the name Jamie that I would say over and over. Do you know that my grandfather was named James my father is named James my brother is named James? Jamie was not a coincidence. One day Jamie played her viola and I sat across the orchestra practice room holding my violin like it was much too heavy. I stopped looking at my sheet music and from across the orchestra practice room my eyes met Jamie's for only a moment before something so terrible happened. The C-string so low and quiet and dangerous the last piece of metal between Jamie and me snapped and broke the skin beneath Jamie's right eye. She bled and bled. James Wright, tell me about a girl's dark kindness leaving her dark brown eyes. The lights of the orchestra practice room grew louder and her bow crashed to the hardwood laminate as she ran for the door. Jamie was going to see the nurse and I needed to take my chance and tell her Jamie I love you I did not mean to break that string but I just kept playing Brandenburg No. 3 as I watched her run for the door watched her escape before anyone else but us knew what had happened and burned forever into the floor was a drop of Jamie's blood that I could not stop. James Wright, I want to know how it feels to have someone look at you and love you without any awareness of the monster you really are.
after "A Blessing"
Sarah Dravec is a graduate student in the NEOMFA in Akron, Ohio, where she studies poetry. She is a poetry editor for Barn Owl Review and has been featured in The Big Big Mess Reading Series. Her work has appeared in The Bakery.