My husband asks Why don’t you write a poem

about why you like Virginia Woolf when

nobody else does.

The excruciating detail of a marriage

is what I like, I say, the drifting

in and out of Clarissa’s mind and into Peter’s,

how they notice the flow of London traffic

as a living animal, how they feel

themselves distributed in sub-atomic

bits into each other and over the city’s squares

and towers, out into the hedgerows, the waves.

But Clarissa wasn’t married to Peter

he would say, if he’d read it, she was

married to Richard. And I’d say

maybe she was, maybe she was.


Kathleen Winter