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Collection II
Volume II, Unit 2
by Matthew Dexter

Dear Carmen

Dear Carmen (Volume II. Unit 2)
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Dear Carmen

I hope this letter reaches you well. Hope we can conclude this matter with as much mutual respect and amicable"Hope we can conclude this matter with as much mutual respect and amicable feeling as we can muster.... Don't want to end up in the hospital again like that night you blacked my right eye..." feeling as we can muster. Anything is possible. Don’t want to end up in the hospital again like that night you blacked my right eye and left me with twelve stitches across the bridge of my nose. Not cool. Pedestrians were gawking as we walked to the Emergency Room. But things have almost always been cordial between us; even as we aspire"But things have almost always been cordial between us; even as we aspire toward different goals, separate lives, it would be best to let cooler heads prevail..." toward different goals, separate lives, it would be best to let cooler heads prevail and do what’s right for our daughter. Lotus might be an atheist"Lotus might be an atheist, but just because she doesn't believe in God doesn't mean we don't believe in her.", but just because she doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean we don’t believe in her.

I’m writing this note in the 2002 Cadillac Eldorado ETC. So the motor’s purring like a kitten as I write this letter, write it not to berate"... I write this letter... not to berate you, make you feel angry or anything, simply to say my last amends." you, make you feel angry or anything, simply to say my last amends. I don’t want to confound"... I write this letter... simply to say my last amends. I don't want to confound you so I'll keep the prose simple." you so I’ll keep the prose simple. Carbon monoxide is making me dizzy, but thinking about your Bikram Yoga poses in those pink sweatpants makes me stay focused. Yes—the intimate"... the intimate hundred-and-four-degree incensed room, with your Argentinean instructor doing Dead Body, Cobra, Locust... postures that would inspire the pregnant Peregrine Falcon to rash into the glass of your home studio." hundred-and-four-degree incensed room, with your Argentinean instructor doing Dead Body, Cobra, Locust, poses that would make Lotus blush, postures that would inspire the pregnant Peregrine Falcon to crash through the glass of your home studio.

When I saw the feathers on the deck and the miserable pigeons with paralyzed necks, I should have taken this as an augury"When I saw the feathers on the deck and the miserable pigeons with paralyzed necks, I should have taken this as an augury from the gods, a premonition of blood and bird guts—should have known what it would lead to." from the gods, a premonition of blood and bird guts—should have known what it would lead to. But I’m not that astute"... I should have taken this as an augury from the gods, a premonition of blood and bird guts—should have known what it would lead to. But I'm not that astute.". The present was the gift that kept on giving, two dead birds after every session. Could they hear your howls? I don’t want to give you any reason for consternation"I don't want to give you any reason for consternation or concern, but there was a diminutive video camera embedded in the extra pink yoga mat on the wicker basket." or concern, but there was a diminutive video camera embedded in the extra pink yoga mat on the wicker basket. It streamed high-definition video to me at the factory, live, where I saw it on my iPhone. So there was nothing different: no God-knows-what-they-mean cryptic"So there was nothing different: no God-knows-what-they-mean cryptic messages about those steamy hour-long sessions of intrepid flexibility, fearless passion." messages about those steamy hour-long sessions of intrepid flexibility, fearless passion.

You sure didn’t do anything novel"You sure didn't do anything novel; it's all been done before, no use writing about it."; it’s all been done before, no use writing about it. Don’t want to sound cynical"Don't want to sound cynical, but I never trusted you, you've always kindled a fiery suspicion deep within my belly.... Your nickname was Southern Comfort in college.", but I never trusted you, you’ve always kindled"Don't want to sound cynical, but I never trusted you, you've always kindled a fiery suspicion deep within my belly." a fiery suspicion deep within my belly. This whiskey is not what I need. This gas is a fairy’s way to die. Your nickname was Southern Comfort in college. Hold on a second. The toll lady beneath the bridge gives no expression, not even a glance at my face. She’s so stoic"The toll lady beneath the bridge gives no expression, not even a glance at my face. She's so stoic—motionless, statuesque—as she carries on with her toil..."—motionless, statuesque—as she carries on with her toil, swallows my quarters, looks at my wrinkled face like a troll, almost makes me wish I threw them in the white plastic basket instead.

I’m watching and listening to this morning’s session right now, parked under the bridge. Red Hot Chili Peppers sizzling as raindrops fall. My proximity"I'm watching and listening to this morning's session right now, parked under the bridge. Red Hot Chili Peppers sizzling as raindrops fall. My proximity to heaven is greater than you could ever imagine..." to heaven is greater than you could ever imagine. Just hoping the pen holds enough ink for me to sign my name. Bakasana and Cat Flow; flippant"I'm watching and listening to this morning's session right now.... Bakasana and Cat Flow; flippant remarks as you arch your backs in harmony with the wind." remarks as you arch your backs in harmony with the wind. I listen to the din"I listen to the din of sideways hail against my cracked windshield." of sideways hail against my cracked windshield. How can we settle our troubles, baby? I loved you. But I was reticent"But I was reticent, I didn't say a word...", I didn't say a word, and to come home at seven to your yogic asceticism; I imagined his hands around your waist, fingertips digging into soft, tight flesh, helping you hold the perfect breathing pose, the garbagemen outside are busy emptying last night’s leftovers as you stretch your body behind his with such disloyal resolve"... I imagined his hands around your waist, fingertips digging into soft, tight flesh, helping you hold the perfect breathing pose... as you stretch your body behind his with such disloyal resolve, such unfaithful determination...", such unfaithful determination; mirrors on all four walls.

My fingers are trembling as I finish this. How could you contravene"My fingers are trembling as I finish this. How could you contravene our wedding vows in that sweltering studio, clouds of sweat and lust wafting about, your body clouding your mind...?" our wedding vows in that sweltering studio, clouds of sweat and lust wafting about, your body clouding your mind, the cumulonimbus clouds invisible beyond the fogged-up windows? Remember that magic summer when we kissed beside the sea in Cyprus? Remember the Mediterranean, the food? Discarded champagne flutes and orange lobster shells strewn across the beach. The island was alive with hope. I’m writing this letter instead of telling you in person because my body is waterlogged, and I don’t want you to be pugnacious"I'm writing this letter instead of telling you in person because my body is waterlogged, and I don't want you to be pugnacious and argumentative." and argumentative. You’d think a woman who practices yoga every day would be more flexible in accepting other people’s opinions, trifling"You'd think a woman who practices yoga every day would be more flexible in accepting other people's opinions, trifling as they may seem to a golden goddess who owns everything but the sun." as they may seem to a golden goddess who owns everything but the sun. The queen who bathes in turquoise bubbles doesn’t need to listen; just threads her needles with pinpoint precision, a surgeon’s perfectly manicured fingers severing everything from exotic Parisian fabrics to the black matter of the solar system. It all floats down the drain in the end.

It has been a tumultuous"It has been a tumultuous affair from start to finish, as chaotic and lawless as a hailstorm." affair from start to finish, as chaotic and lawless as a hailstorm. Now the golf ball-sized hail has turned to sleet. The moment has arrived to crack the driver’s side window; listen to the majestic euphony"Now the golf ball-sized hail has turned to sleet. The moment has arrived to crack the driver's side window; listen to the majestic euphony of the wind against my hair-flecked earlobes." of the wind against my hair-flecked earlobes. A cool zephyr"... listen to the majestic euphony of the wind against my hair-flecked earlobes. A cool zephyr to you it would be, but to me an unforgiving northwesterly." to you it would be, but to me an unforgiving northwesterly. Can you hear me now? You said I was an ape in man’s clothes. Well, my pen is fading. Let me shake it up a bit. By the way: you can’t have the Eldorado. I know it was purchased under your name, it’s registered to you, and you’re planning on picking it up tomorrow, but it’s sinking under the dirty lagoon. The leather will surely be ruined. I’m sending my final text message now, already saved and edited: Protect our little angel. I’ll watch from above. Note under the rock where we first made love.

Mahalo,

Don Mateo