Love Letters, Part Two

To My 'Fucking' Neighbors Upstairs

As I lie in my bed listening to the sounds of your bed scraping the floor and hitting the wall, as I hear the moans and groans, I think to myself, Why, oh why, do you always have to be fucking when I am trying to get my sleep on?

I find it perverted that I have been anticipating the scraping, the shaking, the moans and groans. Looking forward to the bed sounding as though it's about to take a flying leap out the window down to the sidewalk below.

I've actually seen you in my mind's eye crashing through said window, ass in the air, dick swinging with gusto, sweat dripping like rain against my windowpane as you nosedive down below, screaming, "But I didn't come yet!"

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You never seem to wake my husband no matter how loud you get, no matter how hard the bed hits the floor, or my ceiling for that matter. I, on the other hand, feel a kind of tingle, a fire rushing through my veins; then I discover my fingers rubbing and touching my spot down below, and find myself thinking, Oh, no!

I elbow the husband, to try and wake him up. I want to get my groove on, but no can do—he just moans, turns over, and goes back to sleep. I come when you come, thinking, OK, here comes my peace, my time to dream, now I can go back to sleep.

Dammit, that's the bed squeaking again!

So I'm writing you a letter of love, and I hope you don't think me forward, but tell me, do you guys ever fucking sleep?

Emma Traore

December 15, 2004

Dear A.,

photo: Amy Pierce

I'm sorry I forgot your birthday. Do you remember that time in your house on the Cape when you said, "I think people sometimes want to ask if we're sleeping together"? The four of us, you meant. You and A., A. and I. It's true that all those nights together in our shared two-bedroom, we always closed the bedroom doors to make love in the usual two pairs, no trading, no sharing, maybe just a few sounds drifting through the walls. Maybe a game of Truth or Dare at a party—the parties we threw—one time you threw your hips against my lover's, to mime the way you come—dare or truth? Maybe one of our nights out on the town, all high on the same drugs, dressed up as Factory stars or nuclear families, we gave off energy, like people with a secret. People want to ask. You are dark and I am blonde. The boys can both dance. People think they know something about that.

When you told us you were leaving A., you proved it wasn't like we thought it was. Love and love, together and forever, side by side in laughing photographs. Your A. and I drew closer, talking you over. Same for my A. and I. We found our own place. Only two rooms, no doors closed, and not so many mirrors. We make love as loud as we want, and no one can hear us.

Love, A.

To CQ, from a Copy Editor Faced with the Naked Truth

Dear CQ,

Knowing you wish to be
Hip, let me undress your body of
Disfigured prose, expose its secret rose,
Make you hop, render you sonorous, murmurous,
Voluptuous—I need to seduce your
Grammar a bit, infuse it with allure.
I need to place this dangling
Modifier (there's some urgency in this),
Perhaps between your parentheses.
Wouldn't you like to heal your split
Infinitive, open and close those quotes
On a solid verb?
Yoke with the hyphen's thick shaft
(Quick, painless) two parts of speech
Longing to rub against one another?
Notice how much better these
Raw nouns taste when you
Season with adjectives, render
Them kissable, loveable, edible, and
then allow font size to increase
(steady, hands)

Wouldn't that be dandy?
As for the rest, CQ, peel me a grape,
lowercase, delete, ellipsis . . . please!
Amorously, LF

[Luis H. Francia]

Dear Eli,

It's taken me 10 years to realize I should never have broken your heart. Every awful thing that has happened in my relationships has come out of screwing you over. The boyfriend who hand delivered the flowers I hate most in the world on Valentine's Day because, he said, you wouldn't believe what they charge for delivery today. The one who left me on a Bushwick corner after reducing me to tears with anti-Semitic slurs an hour after we'd had sex. You sent the most beautiful flowers I'd ever seen and kissed me like I hoped I'd be kissed for the rest of my life. I didn't know I wouldn't shake like that after other boys kissed me. I miss those kisses. I miss you. I am so sorry.

Your seventh-grade girlfriend,
Martha Burzynski

(LD Beghtol/Nice Boys Music/Mother West Music/ASCAP)

Our life was almost like a song
Back when you wanted me
I thought that nothing could go wrong
Back when you wanted me
But then when everything turned sour
There was nothing left
To fill the empty hours without you—
I almost felt like I belonged
Back when you wanted me

But you never meant those words you said
Back when you wanted me
Dope, love, and danger filled our heads
Back when you wanted me
You said we were above the law
Though you gave me more than
Sufficient cause to doubt you—
Like every Genet novel I (n)ever read
Back when you wanted me

So maybe you were just a fraud—
There was something twised, a little flawed
About you—
But just for a moment I stopped wishing I was dead
Back when you wanted me

Listen to "Back When You Wanted Me" by Flare online at

Love Letters, Part Three

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