Dame Edith Sitwell wrote while lying in an open coffin.
Her flair for the dramatic and proclivity for exotic costumes
made her the target of ridicule for some. She never married.
Tonight, I reach out to Edith. We sit in a pair of open coffins
facing each other. She, with pen and paper, me, with laptop.
Her coffin is mahogany and lined with red velvet.
Mine is made of cherry and lined in leopard print.
We are not morbid, but we are prolific,
writing poems as quickly as they will come.
The coffins summon the spirits of poems yet unwritten.
Dickinson shudders from her ethereal cabin
while Lowell raises an eyebrow as she smokes her cigar.
Woolf stands in the corner and nods, because she understands.
Edith and I write lying down,
passing a decanter of sherry
from coffin to coffin and back again.
Our fingertips never touch, but
we are for each other, Edith and I:
it is only when we write poetry
that we most feel like ourselves.