HÉLOISE TO ABELARD

If you were here, my love,
I would tear the pages of my books,


pleat them into baskets for collecting cherries,
the kind that do not bleed.


I would strip the bark from birches
and build a coffin for our fears


clouds would carry it to Rome.
I would turn into a river fluke


to enter the soft soles of your feet.
And I would lie with you


on the stone floor of the chapel,
morning light filtering through panes.


My love, if you were here,
you would fog the cold surface


of my soul with your breath,
and I would turn to you


and say, if you were not
here, Héloise would be writing.


          Natasha Sajé


Editor's Note:  First appeared in Luna Spring
TAR
NATASHA SAJÉ is the author of a book of poems, Red Under the Skin (Pittsburgh, 1994), and many essays. She teaches at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and in the Vermont College MFA in Writing program.