This Rough Bed

This Rough Bed

(Unsent letter from Mary Gainsborough to her sister, 1780, after her secret wedding)

Morning waking in London and you no

longer near me    Mr. Fischer steals 

away   his clock is his own    plays his oboe     

gypsy sounds scales up and down his narrow

fingers are creeping     I cannot hear my rain    

I must watch the old women falling down

thick shoes      they carry hideous parcels     

the halls smell of fried things     rancid oil

I cannot bear my rain     I skip a breath

my sorrow   my Sister     you must recall 

how we walked  on Beechen Cliff how we saw

silks and brocades   diadems with diamonds 

ghost apples fell on us      I must lie in  

this rough bed  my sister  you are sleeping    

in our garden  in a cradle of stars

Carla Sarett

Carla Sarett is a poet and novelist based in San Francisco. She has been nominated for the Pushcart, Best of Net, Best Microfictions, and Best American Essays. She is the author of She Has Visions (Main Street Rag, 2022) and two chapbooks in 2023, My Family Was Like a Russian Novel (Plan B) and Woman on the Run (Alien Buddha). New poems appear or are forthcoming in The Potomac Review, The Nassau Review, Rust and Moth, and Stonecoast Review. Carla has a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania.

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