From the Diary of the Queen of Naples

by Ann Drysdale

Most days, and every night, I think of him.
The lover I betrayed and left behind.
When I was very small, he was my brother
But as I grew I learned to think of him
In ways that were no longer innocent.
I lied to Father, said I went to him
To teach him simple literacy skills,
But when we were alone, oh, how we played!
I loved his face and never thought him ugly
I loved his body in a hundred ways,
Each one a glorious experiment.
At first he hurt me with his clumsiness
But kissed me when I cried. He made me laugh.
He cut his fingernails at my behest
And touched me where I told him.
I lived for our encounters. I dare swear
That Father was completely in the dark.
So when the strangers came and I, amazed,
Was duped into that monumental promise,
I had to lie. I said he tried to rape me.
I lied and his love did not contradict me.
Instead he took the words that I had taught him
And used his tongue to cut his precious throat.
I wonder where he is and how he fares.
I long for him. I walk alone at night
Telling the truth to the indifferent moon:
I gave my heart but Father gave my hand
And now I live a lie with Ferdinand.


Much of Ann Drysdale’s writing can be obtained by contacting the author via
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