Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

From the Letters

From the Letters
Photograph via Flickr by Allie_Caulfield

Dear M[ ],

Good, I’m glad [

                          ] how are [
                                                    ]you know[
                     ]the child[ren

]I was talking to some[one

             ] about[
                                                    ]how it’s all w[e’ve?

]got somehow[
                                           ]to make it st[ay?


          th]e excavation i[s

                                           ] going well. The tri[ck
             ] is the reconstruction.[

]I have something [

                                                    ]for y[ou?
             ]it’s[ ]not much[
]of [a? the?] gift[
                                                   ]I can say on[ly?
                                                   ]that you need [ ] i[t?

[Dear D ,?]

When you say [
             ]you can give[
                          ]me something[
                                       ]what can I say[

              ]but thank you. The children[

]continue to grow [
                                       ]like bamboo. Sh[?

             ]continue to find[

             ]like they say in[

             ]you[ ]are[ ]miss[

]Today I walked along the lake and thought that I
[             ]could see the other side of things
which is just [             ]folded over on itself[

                                                   ]ing to me

             ]tu[ ]me[ ]manch[
                                        ]I have found this[
             ] to be harder [
]than I expected [
                                                   ]it’s dark here[
                  ]you[               ]shouldn’t be surprised[
             ] che tutto me [
             ] mancanno [

Dear M[ ],

Good, I’m glad[

             ]hobby[              ]studyi[ng] Italian [
                          ] io te aiuterò praticare [

             ] the children would love it[
             ] here with all the history [

                                    ]funny that they’re reenact[
             ]ing what I[
                                    ]to reconstruct[

]I’m glad too[

                                            ]Let me[
             ](will you?)[
]quote one of the pap[y]ri we’ve
             ]worked on[

                                           ]a kin[
             ]travelog[ue], perhaps? Here[

                          ]it is:[
                                           ]we do not re[        ] you.
They say you are just [     ]and the opposite of[ j] us[t.
             ]we need each other.
They say if           we ]       m[ake each other whole.
      and ]if we meet, then we will [
              be] forgotten players [who?
             ]disagree on which way to market, ] and?
             may be?[ right.
                   grab hold of the] horns [of sacrifice?

They say ]     [ time ] [ tents, pegs: ]    [ pillar of fire [
                   ]will not find what [it] seek[s?.
     ]They say tent of[                ]presence, laver[
                     ]of Shadows, [
                   ]we will not become complete.[

                                                      ]that you’re w[ ]ing
again[ w]on’t you send one?[

                  ]tell me what[
                                    ]the days are like[
                                ]without me[

[D]ear [D ,(?)

                                ]sickles and perhaps [

The children built ste[p-ladd]der sand castles
to talk to the g[ods(?)      T]hey fought, built [
                                ]some more. In [

                  ] A tower [
                  ] Lovers and governors came and went.
Corners of the yard mapped and explored. Sleep ensued.
Lunch was memorab[le.                                                      ] A bee,
distressed [

                                                           ]late afternoon dominated[
                                                           o]nly eat and eat, eat
and eat. By nightfall, [
                                ]The children played. They[

                                                     ]created, a scar filled with water.
                                                      n]amed the Place of Accumulation.
Night brought darkness and that which comes with darkness. [
                                                           ]The children did.[
                                                                                  ], rediscovered.[
Preparations made for sleep. Beds made [
                  ]to be unmade, a tent erected on the lawn.[
                  ]Each dropped to sleep, one by one, alone.[
]Each one [                  ] a separate dream [   ] consensus [
   ] the pond cold and still [   ]afternoon hot [
and wet [ ] the plants [    ] their fragrances [
                  ]the world broke open like a storm or an egg.

Dear M[ ,

                 &nbsp]delight[                            ]to receive[
                 &nbsp]delights me, too.[      &nbsp] Remember [

                               ]when we [
                  ?we]ave we create[
]out of other things [                       ]warp and [weft?]
can be things [un]ours and the weave is still our own
like with [

                                               ]the children. They are

]one way [
               ]like me[               ] and yet [
]all another way[      like?]you.

[Dear D ,?]

I wonder how you can put together something you’ve never
seen. How can you reconstruct [

                                                                              fr]om [ ] rubble a whole
cult[ure, ]gods and all?[

                                              ]wonder what it must’v[e
                  ]been[                  ]to watch[                                         ]the [
                                         ]language change[ in]to I[talian?

                  ]people slowly[
                                                      ]unintelligible to th[emselves
                  ]foreign to themselves[
                                                               ]weaving the words
they know into something[
                                                      ]they don’t understand[

                  ]I’m glad you li[ked] my mytho-poetic rendering
of a day in the life of the children. I swear I think they’re
Etruscan sometimes.[                                     ] I [                  ]or[
                                           ]a day[
                  ]can sound like[

                                    ]What I pic[ture
]is the face of the man atop the vase you brought back[

                  ]speaking as if[
                                                      ]he had pebbles[
                                ]in his mouth[

                  ]that’s I think[
                                                      ]it looks like [
                  ]a language[
                                       ;]being born[

[Dear M ,?

                  ]my fellow archaeologists [          ] even bakers
are archaeologists of a sort. [Consider?] challah,
and the t[ops?] of pies[.

                  ] putting things together out [

                                                                                          ]of things
that were apart. Remaking the unmade[

                                                      ]to be what was meant[

                  ]to be[

]what is it, what is anything, other than[

                                                                        ]a kind of weaving[