The Grave of the Letter I Didn’t Post

The letter I wrote you is lying on my desk
underneath a vase of fresh flowers

How hard it is to assemble dry leaves for a cemetery,
when the desk has too much to hold-
sometimes tears.

I understand its urges
(especially when the post office faces the window of my room)
and detect some outside compassion:
the feathers I found upon my return from a weekend,
formed into a plumage—
a gift from the bird that never cared to leave me a feather.

So I disjoined them and threw them at her
who has stopped visiting since.

But you don’t worry

you’re invited to this grave, upon my death.

And if you care, I permit you to dig it out,
fun you’ll have finding and conjoining the words

some of which would have fallen under the desk,
some behind my books with a photo of you,
some mixed up in pulverized leaves,
and some clung to the closed window.

Oh yes, if that bird happens to be alive,
let her in.

And remember not to ask people about my own grave—
it won’t be separate.

Source: Romi Jain, Poems from Conflicted Hearts, 2014.

The Grave of the Letter I Didn’t Post

I Wish to Fly

I fluttered my wings,

getting ready for my first flight into the air

My mom and dad, siblings, and friends—

all gathered to see me fly

“Get set and go,” shouted they


Sun rays fell on my fresh feathers

I was gliding with the air currents

“Come back now,” my mother shouted

“Just a few rounds more,” I replied.


After performing antics like an acrobat,

I perched on a roof wall, singing a song

I felt being tugged

He clasped me

I tried to escape

He squeezed me, tightened his hold

Some of my feathers came off, blew high into the air

and disappeared


I kept resisting, my little soft body ached

I was bundled into the stuffy iron cage

I’ve been there since then, haven’t met my kin since then

I’ve been watching others soaring into the sky

I’ve broken my beak trying to get out to join them

My eyes have swollen as I shed tears at my fate.

Will anyone of you come and release me?

I wish to fly!

I Wish to Fly