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For the Postmaster of Carlsbad Caverns

I meet the postman at the end of the cavern’s crawl. He has
a little shop there, postcards and headlamps. I rest on a flat rock
opposite his desk, lit damply with cold light. We do not speak, but
send letters back and forth by paper airplane. The way back is
long. The postman keeps a cot. I write to him saying that I would
like to stay. A paper airplane lands in my lap. Its passengers
disembark, hundreds of busy ants. It’s from the postman. He has,
he says, just felt a deep bead of water given unto his head by the
cavern. It is only a matter of time before what’s left of him
calcifies. The letter is signed, Yours, Stalagmite. The bats gather as
he stills. They bring me a new kind of letter, one etched in veins
on a paper-thin wing. I take up my post.

Evan Williams is a writer from the cornfields of the Midwest thinking about the Anthropocene. He wrote the chapbook Claustrophobia, Surprise! (HAD Chaps, 2022) and helped to co-found the prose poetry journal Obliterat. He’s at work on a novella about rattlesnakes, rivers, and sandcastles. You can find him on Twitter, and read more of his work here.
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