Letters to Amelia Earhart

Winter, 2012–2013 / No. 29

Dear Amelia,

They found your freckle cream, a flat metal jar, its top rusted shut. I heard about it earlier this summer, sitting in my mom’s backyard, next to the geraniums she planted in front of the garage window.

It had been years since I wondered where you were, but ever since that dinner at my mom’s, I can’t stop thinking about your cheeks, your nose, the tops of your ears, the parts of you you couldn’t stand.


Dear Amelia,

He remembered that I loved you once, years ago, when my hair was shorter and I was living on the top floor of that narrow blue house. And he sends me articles now any time he sees your name, though they’re not from newspapers any more.

There are no hastily scissored edges paper-clipped together. Instead, he sends them tucked into the bodies of E-mails with subject lines like, “I thought of you,” and “Have you read this.”

I’ve read all of them now and copied and pasted each one into a folder on my desktop, called “A.” I titled it “love” first, but thought it might be confusing years later, trying to figure out if it was him I meant, or you.


Dear Amelia,

They’re sending robots after your plane and I picture waterproof R2-D2s with cameras strapped to their foreheads, their agreeable beeping turned into bubbles that might never reach the surface.

It will look like the moon down there, in grey-scale with strange, uninhabited hills, and even though I know how unlikely it is, there is a small part of me that hopes they will find something—a wing, a lever, your scarf turned years ago into seaweed.