I get a hundred e-mails a day that have nothing
to do with my life—they’re for things I might
buy but haven’t, places I could go but
most likely will not

When I was a kid, I liked
making collages from pictures
in catalogues—everyone always
looked almost really happy, like

in another universe they had these products
and were joyful, in love, full of
such small graces, but the catalogue

wasn’t from another universe
and so they just looked pleasant

In another universe, I only get e-mails
from people I actually
care about, messages of how they are doing

and everyone is doing well, has a dog,
eats meals that taste like traveling even
at times when they can’t, has someone
who they love right next to them

But in my universe, I mostly
get spam, more offers than anyone
could have time for. Still there’s
something in them I can’t help
but understand: they reach out
expecting someone, even just
once, will pay attention.

Sometimes they make me
think about sending e-mails

to people I actually
want to, tell them I hope they
are doing well, that I want them
to be well. Sometimes

I even hit send.