Letter to Chester Kallman

Letter to Chester Kallman
“do not write your biography—
for your childhood is literally
the whole”—W.H. Auden

Sensuous youth—dear Chester
Half angel—sulky half petite bête
Like Miles—in Turn of the Screw
And naturally—I was Peter Quint
Re-knowing myself—through you
After all I was dead—according to
Miss James—and I started living
Again through you—heavy date
Inside a youth’s body—our love
Equal to the real thing—elusive
And precocious—thrown out of
School—love consisting of me
And you—looking in the same
Direction—a blonde teenager
Catching me—in a prelude to
Sartre’s No Exit—recognizing the
Power to punish—your tyranny
So easy—I was only to willing
To be invited—to the eternal
Dinner-party—all the sullen
Guests—Chicken of the Sea…

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