about the author

Kate Hinnant lives in northwest Wisconsin, where she works as a Research and Instruction Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has also taught literature, creative writing, and rhetoric for many years in the English Department. A few of her poems have been published in Cimarron Review and the New England Review.

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Air Mail Letter

Kate Hinnant

Thin as a layer of skin cells
this letter folds easy and is urgent.

My words will fly on this thin paper
to you, my sister, across the ocean in Italy,

where you don’t know the Italian
for ‘no meat.’ Let me speak to you

in clear English on this blue and silent paper.
See through it in the light, details of my life

made important by this paper
unfolding easily in your hands:

Last night I waited for a table to arrive.
The deliverymen never came.

I lay out flat on the floor,
spread-eagled, wide and deep.

Living alone now
sometimes I become the things I need.

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