Literary Licensing

Sandra Cooper

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I teach fiction.
From across my desk, Sarah
Postulates a thesis on Miss Emily and women's freedoms.
She details how the writer finds a strand of iron gray hair.
I chastise her.
The narrator lives in the fiction; the fiction in the writer.
But, Dickinson is tippetted and tulled for her eternal carriage fete.
The poor spinster who imagines wild nights of ecstacy.
It is Poe, the original Goth, in black cravat,
Who entwines forever with his Annabelle Lee.

My husband writes fiction.
I read his latest, a story of teenage homosexual lust.
We dissect it.
I hear him say, "pulling his mouth to mine."
In "The Sweet Science," his poem of an adulterous affair,
The speaker returns to his wife, who seems to be Joe Frazier.
After reading his novel, my sister notices habits
That the protagonist's wife and I share,
Calls me by her name for much longer than is funny.
The protagonist's mother has a long-ago affair.
My mother-in-law prays that his novel never finds a publisher.

 

 

 

 

 



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Page  Sixteen

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