a breakup, in books: the birthday present

this was his birthday present to me last year


he told me, as i unwrapped it, that he looked forward to poring over the poems with me, but he broke up with me less than a month later.

side-note: the book probably makes an erotic, sensual, yet classy wedding gift.

the most oft-quoted of the poems in that book is ‘May I Feel Said He’. listen to Tom Hiddleston’s heart-wrenching (also orgasmic) reading here.

* * * * *

may i feel said he
(i’ll squeal said she
just once said he)
it’s fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you’re willing said he
(but you’re killing said she

but it’s life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don’t stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(ccome? said he
umm said she)
you’re divine! said he
(you are Mine said she)

* * * * *

“is it love said she…you are Mine said she”
took the words from out my mouth, with every sentiment of wondering whether he is for real, or a passing dream. i wonder whether cummings was playing up the stereotype of men giving love to gain sex and women giving sex to gain love, or whether he already accepts it to be so (‘but it’s life said he’)

what’s too far said he
where you are said she)


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