what I think happened to the chilli, possibly

I sent you a linocut of a chilli
as a swap for that really
cool cat you drew playing the banjo
I posted a photo
of it online
but as time
passed
it was increasingly awkward to ask
whether you’d finally got mine
and you liked the design
or you didn’t
but you thought it was proficient
and funny enough
to satisfy the trade and all that stuff

I’m sure there’s a simple explanation
for the lack of any kinda communication

I mean – America
is about a
million miles or so
for a half-arsed linocut chilli to go
and lots can happen to it en route
like the letter flies out the boot
of the cargo plane when it stops
and the mailsack drops
and the wind snatches this particular item
and scatters it round the local environ
where it snags in the fence at the airport perimeter
and gets picked up by a plane spotting visitor
who hopes there’ll be some money inside
and excitedly slides
a finger along the top
and when he finds there’s not
curses his continuing bad luck
and chucks
my chilli
in the general direction of New York city
sneers, says cocksuckers
then carries on surveying the planes with his binoculars

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