Love Letter

Dearest,

I wanted to write to and tell you of how I long for the moment when we will be together again. The cold winds pace, howling, in the balcony every night, and the moon is unsympathetic to a lover’s sighs- Even the Countess Rossini said so last night while at cards, while Lucia was at the harp.

_Ah, the pangs of love. The pain we must endure, the pain we seek even— do you not think that it is most unchristian of us, feeling and thinking and mouthing all these words, and then seeking redemption every sabbath? But I lose myself in the writing of this epistle, and now must focus on conveying my thoughts to you.

Precious light, how goes it with you? Are you well? Is business all that it must be? I pestered Claudio for news of you when he returned last sennight: he tells me you are somber at business, gay in company and morose when alone. He tells me that you are in solitude most often, writing verse dedicated to me. Dear dear heart! It will not be long, I assure thee. Not long at all.

In fact, our moment will have arrived with you opening this little parchment with your hands. How well I know your habits, dearest: how often have I traced your attitudes and postures, your sweet brow and your full lips in my mind, closing my eyes in the middle of the day in spite of mama’s remonstrances. I can in fact see you this very moment, as you read this very line.

You will throw your coat at Francois, and place your cap atop the bust of Pericles. Still reading, you will cast your eyes over the cards you have received for tonight’s revelry. Picking up the wine Francois has brought you, you will make your way into your chambers, first bidding Francois to not disturb you for an hour, during which time you will caress the folds of this letter, imagining it to be my arms under your fingertips—Tell me if I lie! But you cannot. You laugh now, I can feel you, in merriment over this precocious little chit you have chosen to favor with your love and regard. And now you will chew at your thumb or forefinger, peeling away tiny bits of your skin, smiling as you read my girlish avowals of love.

There. The door is shut, and Francois has gone off with your boots to scrape off the mud of the day. You are in your bed, and the windows are shut tight, as you like the warmth. For you always did enjoy warmth, did you not my love? From laying your face against my breast, to drinking cider with Claudio, how often have I remarked upon your attraction for the heat, and for light.

At this moment, if I see true, your eyes are beginning to prick you, and your throat burns you till you wonder at the wine you are drinking, and put away the cup. Perhaps now you detect the faintest odor of garlic coming from the parchment, and your fingertips? You must needs cough, splutter, perhaps choke now—I wonder if you will read the rest of my love-letter to you, my heart… but I, your beloved, will continue writing till its conclusion, for I do have so much to tell you. Like for instance, how Venice is beautiful beyond comparison, and filled with the most beautiful and intelligent people in the world. Claudio’s lover, Beatrice, is one such delight: what a lovely creature! In spite of her great heritage and her honored name she carries none of the head weight one notices in the other Medici’s at Court. But she is young—my age, in fact—and we are both fast friends. It was she who told me that Claudio had whispered in her ear of how you played fast and loose with my name and our love in the taverns of Ravenna, in the company of sailors and militia. My dear you are feeling quite well? Beatrice told me that arsenic has a horrible way of catching in your throat till you cannot breathe—Perhaps Francois will not hear you calling?

I should add that Claudio, following Beatrice’s instructions, has bolted the windows from outside: we would not like you to catch a chill in that horrid weather, my lord. I’m told that arsenic works quickly, and is delicate—So delicate that I could paint my lips with it, and kiss you as is our wont, and you would die in my arms, as I would live, your face pressed against my breast in agitation and want. Are you quite alright, my hearts ease?

Perhaps this parchment would have fallen to the ground by now. Claudio is to climb in after, a wet lace kerchief across his mouth and nose, and retrieve it, after which it will be burnt. Flames will eat it, the heat and light licking at my writing, as they now lick at your throat and mind and heart.

Farewell, my lord. Isn’t it unchristian of us, feeling and thinking and mouthing all these words, and then seeking redemption every Sabbath? Such is what passion does to the soul. I will unburden my heart to the Virgin. It is sad that it had to end this way. But surely, where you will go now will give you far more heat and light than my arms ever could?

I loved you truly, and was yours for the taking. But now comes death, and thus we part.

Sincerely,
Cara Giuseppe.

13th November, 1519,
Venice.

Love Letter

Priyanka Joseph

Joined January 2008

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arsenic works quickly, and is delicate—So delicate that I could paint my lips with it, and kiss you as is our wont, and you would die in my arms, as I would live…

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