First Person

So Much for Loving

I’ve been reading Aphra Behn’s love letters again, the ones to John Hoyle. I am drawn to them in idle hours, imagining inky scribbles on thick, dusty sheets instead of photocopied print on thin white pages. Sometimes I read them aloud, trying out the soft whispers and passionate inflections I imagine from Behn, and hear the pleading, desperate desire in my own voice. I listen for those twists of language that mark the fine line between love and hate, devotion and dismissal, obsession and indifference. My cat Cleo perks up when I proclaim Behn’s reckless love alone in my bedroom.…

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