We are sorry for the way this will arrive,
damp and damagesome. No doubt
the peculiar constitutions of our nations,
catastrophically susceptible to each other,
account for the long gap in correspondence
though here we find no record of any sort
to suggest a former, well-established channel.
That is, however, the way of our state;
we operate, as you can see, impromptu,
with agents very liable to defect.
Many have lived for a long time among you,
on a favorite shirt or as a way of thought
that landed on you suddenly and stayed.
Staying, as we hear, is something rare
within your fissured borders. Much tips out,
much topples. Much is built and clutches up
from treble-bound foundations, tenoned, splitting.
In your case, pride defers, takes second place
to the almighty fall. And how you love it!
The moment brickwork tears like rotten curtains;
the sound of earth exhaling after thunder
as brightness rushes back over downed walls.
For generations we’ve exploited this,
have learned both how to enter and to cling
to what you’re always opening. We stuck
and slurred your symmetries. It was enough.
But recent changes, so oppressive for
both you and us, have forced this Embassy
to use newfangledness. To be overt.
We’ll spell it in black mold, with feeling: PLEASE,
please tell us what would tempt you. Gasoline?
Redcurrant jam? A shattered whisky fifth,
muddled with builder’s earth? Take them. Take these.
Make it official; all we have, we’ll share.
Unerring knowledge of the passage through
is given us, which we will give to you
for love, and just one fractured future sight
of years to come. Friends, what we’re saying is,
please tell us everything we shouldn’t know.