Today the first of many rejection letters came in after a flurry of sending materials out at the end of 2005. Here are your poems back, it says. It’s a hopeful thing to have material in the mail, though, hope like a paper airplane flying, like a seed in the ground. The planes come down. More positive is the thought that many seeds sprout. They don’t grow if you don’t plant them (something your mom tells you, but it's true). You put some writing in an envelope and you send it off to meet its fate rather than hiding it in a folder on your desktop.
It’s a hopeful thought too, though probably naïve, that the poems spent a few moments in the hands of someone at the citadel. These poems came back from Poetry magazine with a tidy little note that indicates the care with which the poems were considered, how they wish they had time to write, how they appreciate my interest.
When the first astronauts went to space, they took with them souvenirs to return to earth with, items that had crossed with them into the beyond. So my poems have done, come back from 444 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1850, Chicago, where the air is thin, where, in the pages of the magazine, you can see stars.