I leave your house with a shoebox of rejection slips
editors enclosed in my self-addressed envelopes.
Good stationery. Polite form letters. Different types
of no to poems posted with thirty-nine-cent hopes.
A few took the trouble to scribble their subjectivities.
(These poems don’t meet our present needs.) Four
softened the blow by mildly singling out for praise
the flirt, the grovel, the hurt valve, or the soft core.
There's one, burgundy half-letter-sized, kept
face up, raised by the others sleeping facedown.
This one, generous in its plural pronoun, abrupt
in its brevity, added an afterthought, Try us again.
Submission seasons come and go. Every Sept-
ember burns in a shoebox, because of this one.