Spring 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 2 Poetry |

Letter on June 15

I didn't want a crowd. I didn't want writers' backbiting in a restaurant. Last night's leftover duck, some chilled Sancerre (you've called fresh-tasting) beckoned to me more. I crossed the Pont Sully, into an eight- forty sunset, toward home, and whom I'd meet. In the letter that I didn't write, I tell you, I was meeting you tonight. You in an envelope; you in the braille of postmarks footnoting the morning mail. You, bracketed from life with someone else though part of every page is what she tells you; not my morning clarity of bells to matins, phoned links to life with someone else. I met you here as if geography were all that separated you from me, though hand to hand and lovely mouth to mouth magnetic north and doubly polar south are on lost maps, the trails are overgrown. It's warm, it's almost dark, it's half-past ten. "I can't imagine Paris without you" was the tearjerker on the radio when I began to cry in Julie's car under the Nashville skyline where you were the bottom lin

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Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve books of poems, most recently Names (W.W. Norton 2010), and of ten collections of poetry translated from French. She received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation in 2009 for Marie Etienne’s King of a Hundred Horsemen. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a former editor of The Kenyon Review.

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