Remembering how I used to exchange poems with strangers. This is from a college student, November 1994.

         haven't seen you around in awhile :(
         i'm hoping that sometime you will send me another poem or a
         story or something, i really liked the first one.  here is
         something i wrote about a year or so ago.

         I stand alone and you're in a crowd laughing,
               laughing and dancing with the flowers that
                    scent the wind
         I mourn in the mist in my circle of black candles
               burning, stars collapsing over my head
         My green eyes glow from this surrounding gray, piercing
               your soul,
                    emerald pools swirling with meaning as they
                    go liquid on me once again

         Standing on a cliff, the waves crashing an eternity below
                                                  all frothy
               I contemplate the beauty and aching wrenching power
               of the ocean which cares not a wit for us-
                    petty symbolic rulers of the earth
          And you remain on the beach picnicking with the
                friends, glancing up every now and then
                       to see if I'm still here-
                                        which I always am
               Seeing the sunradiate around you as a god
               your blond soft hair glowing before my eyes

         Standing by the kitchen sink I listen to you and the boys
               screaming as the Giants score another touchdown,
               and I wonder vaguely how they are giants when
                    they      are       nothing
         The shabbiness of this place forces itself on my senses,
               ambushing me without preparation-
                    peeling wallpaper, stained linoleum,
                    the stale smell of old beer
          Every detail of this moment is branded into the soft
               tissues of my brain
                    steady hum of the refrigerator
                    the blaring of the TV from the front room
         I hear you holler for more drinks so i bring you a 6-pack
                 and hope the game will be over soon
         I return to the kitchen and pick up the knife with
               which I've been peeling the carrots
         Its glinging silver, caught in the drab sunlight filtered
                    by grungy curtains, catches my attention,
                              and I hold
                                        and caress it
         In all this ugliness and barreness, the knife
               is clean, and beautiful
         Slowly I look up at the black & white photograph hanging
               on the wall from a nail and some wire
         The beautiful young face stares back at me with all
                    the hope of innocence
            and I shudder at what she has become, suffering
               a painful gradual death
         My attention falls again on the knife clutched
                          in my clenched fingers
                 I turn it over in my hand, fondling it
         And I draw it gently over the back of my hand, staring
               at the narrow line that magically appears
         I turn my hand over and stare at the blue veins
                    beneath mottled skin, and

               I care a shallow groove across my wrist,
                    and watch the red well up to fill it
                                             a river
          Then again, deeper, and the red flows out of my arm
                  cascading to the broken linoleum
                         beneath my feet
                      -and it is beautiful-
               So I do the same to the other wrist, and I
                              press my hands together,
                                   and think--
         Now I am my own blood sister...