I D K     I S S U E     5


michael hurley

Dear Maddie,

I am writing you letters
           made of 0s and 1s
           and licking digital envelopes

clean because the tradition
with letters involves the first person
and I have forgotten how to use I
           as a placeholder
           for any real reality.

           I thought this might help.

Is there any worth in knowing
how much a 1 looks like an I?
Things we unlearn as children
           are often hard to retrieve.
           A 0 is a face
           with the features wiped off

like the screen through which
your voice now comes in symbols,
           the uppercase
           used only for joy
           and your big belly laughs
           that I can hear when I read them
           move around the room around me.

I am hoping by writing you
I can get to the bottom
of the true motivations
           of this character.


Michael Hurley is from Pittsburgh, PA. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Cincinnati Review, Sycamore Review, New Delta Review, The Massachusetts Review, Copper Nickel, Mid-American Review, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, FIELD, Crab Orchard Review, Blackbird, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere.  His chapbook, Wooden Boys, is available from Seven Kitchens Press.