I miss the sinuous curves of our words- the way our blue ink pitter-pattered onto scented pink stationary filling it with stuff we can now google online Bohemian fashion Lady Chatterley's Lover the special stamps we bought of paintings, birds, celebrities to put on floral envelopes cardboard photos we kept in albums like we were real flesh and blood friends. Creature I cringe at your touch spikes under your soft-spoken words pricks of sharp objects like thistles, knives shards of broken glass How I shrink away from you porcupine man, porcupine man no symbol of what you are marked on your forehead You hide in the shadows sneak out when I most need a hand a black hook there instead lethal by mere contact. You Come Back in One Piece Your hands, which waved goodbye, now ask for a second chance. But the wind seldom brings people back the way they were, after their eyes have glimpsed God's face, their souls scooped out of their bodies and put back. I can never understand you completely. All those years I pretended to let you pull me into your dark water, I was only swimming in the shallows. Now the trees are singing of your homecoming, as a different person, a tattered stuffed dog whose tears are all stitched up. Bio: Jackie Chou writes poetry because it makes life more colorful. It turns the common birds and flowers of the urban landscape where she has lived all her life into heroes. Her poem "Cycle of a Tree" was nominated for a Pushcart by Highland Park Poetry.