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Francesca Says More

December 16, 2014

By Olena Kalytiak Davis

In the 13th century Francesca da Rimini, stuck in an arranged marriage, shared the story of the knights Lancelot and Galehot’s love triangle with Queen Guinevere, with her husband’s brother Paolo. It struck a cord, and overcome by passion they began a ten-year affair. When her husband finally caught them at it, he murdered them both. In the Inferno Dante meets Francesca and Paolo in the second circle of hell, reserved for the lustful.

Davis calls this poem, one of a series about Francesca, a “shattered sonnet”, and includes it in her latest collection The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems (click here).

that maiden thump was book on floor, but
does it really matter who kissed who
first or then who decided to go further?
lower? faster? naturally, we took
turns on top. now here, now there, and up
and down…once it started no one even thought to think to stop.
so, we have holes inside our souls,
but mustn’t we begin by filling others’?
god gave us lips and hands and parts
that cannot possibly be saved for prayer. nor by.
i will not name name, claim fame by how well
or who I fucked or why, it happens all the time.
and it’s you, white pilgrims, whom next galehot seeks.

fuck. we didn’t read again for weeks.

Olena Kalytiak Davis

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