The Letter Opener


Even as you drift your mouse around this page, you will see the arrowhead form it takes: pointed, blade-like, sharp. It has always a bit surprised me that this almost-violent symbol would be used; and similarly, that a letter-opener should take the form of a knife. This poem is all about that dagger, and the notion of using a weapon to open our letters: latent threats in our correspondence, even used in communication with the ones we love. 


I avoid the blade of letters. Dagger end

Of finger-entry into stationery

Along the edge of a private V,

A long sneer sideways through a sheer-licked smile.

I cannot stand that old way of stealing mail,

All To Whom, and From, and neatly laid

In correspondence, flicked open. And the blade:

It is a grim thing, for a loved one’s written hand.


But I keep my eye on another blank square

With the same old Tos and screen of Froms,

Parallel, and stationary, layout clear;

And with my right hand control a pad, or type,

And through a wire to my new desk top

Still hold a white dagger over your name.


It’s better when it takes the Mickey Mouse-esque glove form when it hovers over a button.


2 thoughts on “The Letter Opener

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