You may not have noticed, but air mail envelopes and the corresponding lightweight letter paper are dying out.  I am by now resigned to the decline, and am simply stocking up for the duration.  A while ago a Brazilian friend visited and offered to bring me some selections of Brazilian coffee.  He asked if he could bring anything else from Brazil.  ‘Air mail envelopes’, was my request.  He had to hunt around a bit, but he found some, the normally red and blue angled lozenges replaced by the green and yellow of the Brazilian flag.

On a trip to Chicago last week I went in search of airmail envelopes and found a pack of fifty, charmingly tied with parcel string, in a stationers off State Street.  This time the livery, appropriately for the US of A, was the classic red and blue.  I used the first one to send a letter to my brother, written in the luminous Poetry Foundation, and brought the other 49 home with me.

Now, to whom shall I write next?

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