"Epistolary Suit"

“Write me letters when I’m away”—

you, laughing over your shoulder,

a movie star over her fur,

glamorous even sans diamonds.

So I exhume my stationery;

I calculate Dearest is that

exact degree of intimacy,

and I whip out the poetry

because this is my gambit—

it is pretty much all I’ve got

to be absolutely honest,

and I prefer to be honest.

I fill your apartment with books,

surrealist paintings, carpets;

I see the white of your neck bared

as you struggle to get a signal;

I smell the ocean in your hair

as you read the medieval texts

I gave you while curled in a chair;

I taste the bobal on your lips.

I spritz the ivory vellum

with my heavy Chanel perfume

and sign it Yours rather than Love.

Because you know the difference.

And yes, Virginia Woolf confessed

to her love Vita Sackville-West

that Virginia’s husband Leonard

found their relationship “a bore,”

which is perhaps to be preferred

to the absolute white panic

with which your husband regards me.

Darling, he knows. Hugs and kisses.

6 October, 10 November 2018, 5 January 2019

About the author

Eva Rosenn is a poet with a day job. She holds a PhD from Columbia in medieval comparative literature. She has poems most recently appearing or forthcoming in NYMBM, Burning House Press, Panoply, and briars lit

Eva Rosenn