“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.