Letter to You Which I Know You Won’t Read So Why Do I Bother?

Francine Witte

Let me start again. I had an opening paragraph I decided to take out. You were wrong, but that paragraph was wronger.

Let me start again. Wronger’s not a word, and no matter how bad, how low-down you acted, you deserve decent grammar. You’re entitled to complete sentences. I always used complete sentences when we spoke. I mean, crying out “Bastard!” and “but, she’s my best friend!” are complete sentences.

Let me start again. No one starts a complete sentence with the word “but.” That incomplete sentence was in response to your sad, sad, oh so sad confession about where you spent the night, and I merely blurted out, “BUT, she is my best friend.”

Let me start again. The word “but” suggests that there was an acceptable alternative, BUT this wasn’t it. Maybe you thought I meant, you could have slept with anyone else, but she was my best friend.

Let me start again. I distinctly remember asking you why you had been texting her in the first place, you said something about a surprise engagement ring, didn’t you? Didn’t you?

Let me start again. Didn’t you is definitely an incomplete sentence. Yes, there is a subject and a verb, but where is the antecedent? Where is the context? If you were holding this letter and suddenly got hit by a speeding semi and you dropped the letter, and the truck shaved it in two, and you had to spend a month in a hospital bed, and there you were all plastered up and bandaged, and a young Candy Striper came in with the half of this letter that started with didn’t you in her silky hand, and before you could seduce her, even in your infirm, impossible state, she began to read, you might have no recollection of what was said before.

Let me start again. Do they even have Candy Stripers anymore?

Let me start again. That was a diversion. You hate diversions. Or so you always said. So, I will get to the point. I’m writing you this letter just in case you think there is a second chance. Life doesn’t have an eraser. You can’t lop off a paragraph of life whenever the hell you want. Maybe I should put back my original opening paragraph. You’d understand more why I never want to see you again. I called you all sorts of names, wished you all sorts of dead. But I won’t put that paragraph back. I’m better than that. Besides, I know you’re too busy with my ex-best friend and Candy Stripers to even open the envelope.

Actually, maybe that’s a little unfair. Let me start again.

Francine Witte’s poetry and flash fiction have appeared in Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, Lost Balloon, Stonecoast Review, Moon Candy Review, and many others. Her latest books are Dressed Wrong for All This, (Flash) The Theory of Flesh (Poetry) and The Way of the Wind (novella) She lives in NYC.