Friday, June 7, 2019

French Novel by Richie Hofmann

French Novel

You were my second lover.
You had dark eyes and hair,
like a painting of a man.
We lay on our stomachs reading books in your bed.
I e-mailed my professor. I will be absent
from French Novel due to sickness. You put on
some piano music. Even though
it was winter, we had to keep
the window open day and night, the room was so hot, the air so dry
it made our noses bleed.
With boots we trekked through slush for a bottle of red wine
we weren’t allowed to buy, our shirts unbuttoned
under our winter coats.
The French language distinguishes
between the second
of two and the second
of many. Of course
we’d have other lovers. Snow fell in our hair.
You were my second lover.
Another way of saying this:
you were the other,
not another.

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