The letter is written in red ink on heavy sketchbook paper. The letter says he misses her. The letter says she can’t doubt the existence of a house and car and children between them. She musn’t rush to judgement for he has the mortgage papers in a manila folder to prove it. Stamped by a notary public. The letter says she should take a deep breath and remember their intense desire for one another. She should trust that desire. She should consider much money they had blown to satiate that desire over the past decade. He has receipts for airline travel to prove it. Some are digital receipts. The letter says she is complicated and not an easy woman. Her parents agree— she is hard to live with— but he is not making excuses. The letter says he misses her so damn much he doesn’t know how else to put it. Or where to put the missing. Some way to fill the blanks. And who would have thought empty places get sore over how much it hurts to find nothing there. The letter says the problem with empty places is hope. No place is empty and unexpectant. No empty place accepts its hollow core. Every vase in the kitchen cabinet wants to be filled. But empty is mute— it can’t speak. The letter says the problem of missing her is that the part that needs her is a place that is absolutely empty and no sound comes out. She should trust the emptiness because it can’t speak unless you fill it a little and then it reminds you of how much more space needs to be filled. The letter says he didn’t sleep well last night. He kept thinking about love and the way love’s glass is never half full but mostly half empty. She mustn’t mistake his anger for lack of love. They shouldn’t count sheep when their thoughts are full of empty glasses.

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania, raised in Alabama, and reared by the love-ghost of Tom Waits and Hannah Arendt. Her homeland is a speculative fiction. Currently, she lives in Tuscaloosa with her partner and and three small homo sapiens sapiens. Her "stuffs" is forthcoming in PoemMemoirStory, Kindred, Cruel Garters, and others. More online at