I would have been interested in Henry Fielding
as a man, yes, as a man, regardless of his pretensions
and his marrying a chambermaid. I would have eaten
large poultry meals with him then licked his throat.
& Sidney I would have seduced out on the battlefield
in my naughty nurse outfit. I would have said, My Lord,
let me take your temperature, & occasioned a sonnet
sequence premiered at court. What a tragedy he died
so young that I have only his portrait to covet.
& Donne, well, there is no doubt I would have swooned, panted,
crawled into his confessional for repentance, admitting
all kinds of horrific deeds and thoughts just to hear him emit a gasp.
& Stein, I could have been her flapper mistress trading Freudian slips
over cryptic crosswords and 2000 piece jigsaw puzzles.
I’d have curled up with Calvino too, on a night train to the ends
of the world, offering myself up like the happiest whore. & out the caboose
we’d shoot the history of thoughts of dead writers. Love tumbling
out like syllables. The two halves of brain closing like a book.