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Dear Colette

by
 Dear Colette,
I want to write to you
about being a woman
for that is what you write to me.
I want to tell you how your face enduring after thirty, forty, fifty.
.
.
hangs above my desk like my own muse.
I want to tell you how your hands reach out from your books & seize my heart.
I want to tell you how your hair electrifies my thoughts like my own halo.
I want to tell you how your eyes penetrate my fear & make it melt.
I want to tell you simply that I love you-- though you are "dead" & I am still "alive.
" Suicides & spinsters-- all our kind! Even decorous Jane Austen never marrying, & Sappho leaping, & Sylvia in the oven, & Anna Wickham, Tsvetaeva, Sara Teasdale, & pale Virginia floating like Ophelia, & Emily alone, alone, alone.
.
.
.
But you endure & marry, go on writing, lose a husband, gain a husband, go on writing, sing & tap dance & you go on writing, have a child & still you go on writing, love a woman, love a man & go on writing.
You endure your writing & your life.
Dear Colette, I only want to thank you: for your eyes ringed with bluest paint like bruises, for your hair gathering sparks like brush fire, for your hands which never willingly let go, for your years, your child, your lovers, all your books.
.
.
.
Dear Colette, you hold me to this life.

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