Thomas Hardy Sends An Email

The London Magazine - - CONTENTS - Al­i­son Brack­en­bury

I need slide no con­fes­sions un­der doors where they are brushed by farm boots un­der mats. Bored girls buy no new-fan­gled cards. How that Valen­tine throbbed, foamed with silk hearts, false flow­ers! For­get notes, in a stiff, slow, child­ish hand, I flick the quick screens I must un­der­stand, elec­tronic er­rors

when one click sends the se­cret you must keep to the whole of­fice, and the of­fice cat, when a lone drunk, locked in a base­ment flat, can stop a heart with threats of knives and rape, when the young man, whose smile dis­solves your screen, asks for your pass­word and your user­name. I could not make this up.

Lis­ten. My dark keys tap. Let me con­fess my long books lied to you. For I was Fate. My mes­sages? All false. De­sire, too late re-pro­grammed me. In anger, I hung Tess. Old word­ings, slights, my grand house fall from me. I log out, choose. A fid­dler I must be, whose tunes be­muse and bless.

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