I Ate My Dinner With A Stack of Letters

Lady Reading Letters

I Ate My Dinner With A Stack of Letters

I ate my dinner
With a stack of letters
From boys who sent me their worlds
Through words from universities and jobs
From faraway cities and the woods
Pouring out their hearts and hopes
And fears of making the grade
Or dreams
And always sending their love to me
Where with another girl, going steady
Or about to be engaged.

I ate my dinner
With a stack of letters
Upon which I can point to what becomes of
The wild women now
We are who they write to
We are who they cry to
We are who they love and thank profusely
For listening and guiding
And putting up with, too.
But we are not the ones they marry
They chase us while in hot pursuit
Of their wedding invitations
And years later they will buy a house
And have babies
And we will be cut loose.

I ate my dinner
With a stack of letters
Knowing they still think of me
But they never would have wed me.
They were just chasing me
For the wildness and openness
They felt was refreshing
But I am not Anais Nin
But it would seem to be the women
With opinions and liveliness
Who do not drone with sheep
Are like me

Suited best only for the mercurial beasts
Which is a life full of misery.

I received many of his letters when I too was in love
Is everyone cheating on some level with someone?
And I sometimes get insecure
Thinking you’re telling your mates I was crazy.
But it lasts as long as the feeling of you inside me
Which is to say not long and numb, doesn’t faze me.

The kind sentiments of attached men who wanted my friendship
Who expressed love and devotion while attached
I see now is their freedom they felt finally
Before their getting shackled

One woman never talked of masturbation
And the other kept talking a house and kids
And none were the kind to whom he could say what he was feeling
But I was a muse to which they confided
In the end

And the kind men and the wild men
Both crossed the same lines without deception
Young at 20 they poured their hearts
And didn’t see the disconnection
That as a refined young lady could see quite clearly
Like Hesse’s Steppenwolf with a Maria and a Hermine

Some men need a woman to bore with
While feeling deeply for a woman who makes their lives
easier to bear.

And none of these men I would take
Because they were taken with other women
And with all my wild and free and sexy ways
I judge harshly those who are two-timing

But thus is the unbearable lightness of being
And who can define the true relationship?

Call it love call it what you want
But when I remember the list of songs
If you were reaching out to me
You know then on some level
We belonged.

I spend my days now telling men
“I’m not your type”
and what it signifies
is they will never satisfy.

If I be alone and single and old
Without another man loving me like before
And truthfully how does it happen in this technological world?
Void of letters and penmanship and scents and paper photos?
Then I should ask but only thing
That I be tucked in at night with my letters from these:
Gary, Damien, Paul and Andrew
A bedsit in Camden, a remote site in the woods
On the road building shit and skateboarding in Windsor

I ate my dinner
With a stack of letters
From boys who sent me their worlds
In words.

Sylvie Hill (November 30, 2015)