[ a postmark three days after the first, New Delhi; a mom and pop shop two streets away from being a tourist trap. The delivery has taken the better part of two weeks, dots and lines separated carefully: ]

                         …. .- …- . / -.– . – / – — / ..-… .-.. / – …. . / –.. . -. .-.-.-

[ She’s still surprised by it’s arrival despite the first one, and it gives her pause at the mailboxes when it sticks out from the plain white envelopes, edges frayed from transit. He said he’d write, she hadn’t expected him to mean it. Lips purse, a thumb runs along one corner that’s been bent and worn. The code isn’t much of one this time, a hasty scribble, but she appreciates it nonetheless and breaks it down while she takes the stairs. 

It’s funny, or an attempt to be, and the intent draws a wisping curl of a smile from the corner of her mouth, brief before it flickers and slips away. Inside, Maria tucks the card in beside the first in the dresser beside her mattress, both pressed flat and nearly invisible against the wall of the drawer. He means well, she knows, but it doesn’t stop the twinge from echoing somewhere behind her ribs. ]


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