According to the postmark, the Messiah
has been in Tampa all these years, promising
to reveal His personal message of salvation
if only I’d send money. The paper looks
more like a party invitation, the block
letters shimmering in neon blue and yellow
above an illegible signature in green ink.
Meanwhile, my uncle’s letter from prison
is lined and covered in brown splotches
that carry the faint scent of sour milk.
Unlike the Messiah, my uncle can
not spell, and he is not happy with any
amount I can spare. He wants $57.99
to buy gym shoes after his were stolen.
He needs a sponsor too when he gets out
in a month and stamps so he can write
to any other relative whose address I would
kindly forward. He tells me, I don’t diserve
crap shit. I’m not like these poeple guys.
And, You don’t have to write back, just let me
know you got this. I haven’t seen my uncle
in ten years since he left with my babysitting
money to get gas, after promising to teach me
how to drive a snowmobile. I’d turned
eighteen, and born again that Sunday
for a second time. These letters have chased
me for years. At least the Messiah includes
an envelope I can reuse with a stamp
of the Virgin with open arms, looking
down serenely at the address, above which
the text warns: Now is the time to be saved!!
My uncle swears he can save himself
if someone somewhere would just give him
the chance. He promises to look at the knock
in my engine too when he’s back in town.