|Oct/Nov 2017 Poetry Special Feature|
Image excerpted from Intellectualization of Olfactory Data by Roe LiBretto
I Confide in Jane Eyre about My Divorce
"I wonder with what feelings you came to me to-night," she said, when she had examined me a while. "I wonder what thoughts are busy in your heart during all the hours you sit in yonder room with the fine people flitting before you like shapes in a magic lantern." —Mr. Rochester (disguised as a fortune teller) to Jane Eyre
We spend most of the conversation
politely defending our own life choices,
hers to be married, mine to be not.
And when I tell her that my favorite part
of her story isn't her story at all, that it belongs
to the woman living upstairs, I might have gone
too far. But I want to like her and I want her
to like me. "I am no bird," I tell her, and about that,
at least, our thoughts run parallel.
We finally conclude that stories are knots
we tie and untie until the nest of ropes
or ribbons is useless, and it no longer matters
if we wear our hair up or down. My ex-husband
lives only a block away, three winding flights
of stairs up from the street. The rooms I live in
face west on the eighth floor and glow
at evening with the tides of sunset, a burning
that fades slowly through the night. Like Bertha
in her attic, I've always had more of a view.