I wrote Borges a letter as long as his life. It was really a postcard and only as large as mine. It confined its story to the size of a stamp, so that it could mail itself through time. On the miniature postcard, a lion. On the more miniature stamp, an image of a face (neither his nor mine), as if on a coin. On the other side of the coin, the side we can’t see: The Labyrinth. At the center of The Labyrinth is the Post Office, where everything arrives. The Postmaster is asleep on a heap of yarn. A minotaur knits beneath his pillow, which is a rhombus roughly the size of a postage stamp. If one shines the coin with some spit and squints, the face of the Postmaster appears embroidered on the pillow he sleeps on. It looks like me when I’m older, or like a younger Borges. The lips on the pillow are moving, but there is no sound. The minotaur’s ears are plugged with cotton. Flip the coin and the face has changed. The Postmaster awakens and works only when I sleep. He stamps the letter, then steeps it in tea. After he is done drinking, he nods back off to dream. The face on his pillow grew younger. Borges receives the letter 39 years before he steps into the river.
As A Young Borges Myself
I am writing the book of my life that must be longer than my actual life. That is, there ought to be more pages than there are minutes for me on this planet. I persist on trying to get out ahead of myself. As in, the pen is longer than its reach, practically locomotive. Progress as distance is immeasurable — the only yardstick being the arm attached to the hand taking measure. We’ll measure in hands, then. Like horses. Or cubits. It should not matter so long as the units are biological. A hair’s length. Within earshot. By the skin of my teeth. But these are all relative, and there exist no reference points for comparison to the end. I am trying to write so that when I get there it will feel like a rest. The terminus should make the journey feel welcome. The means should embrace the sentence. Its scarf should billow behind it on the platform as the train pulls away from the station. I am kissing the pen.
Adrian Dallas Frandle (they/he) is a queer fish who writes poems to and for the world about its future. They are Poetry Acquisitions Editor for Variant Lit Mag/Press & an Associate Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes. His chapbook “Book of Extraction: Poems with Teeth” is out now with Kith Books. Find their work online at adriandallas.com