The Paris Review

Poetry Rx: You Are the Penultimate Love of My Life

In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Sarah Kay is on the line.

© Ellis Rosen

Dear Poets,

I’ve never been in a relationship. I’ve crushed, I’ve rejected, I’ve (potentially) stalked, I’ve dated, I’ve idealized, I’ve fallen for fictional characters, I’ve kissed—but I’ve never been in a relationship. I realize I don’t need a partner to live my best life, but all the same, I crave it. I crave a hand in mine, a jaw to nuzzle, an ear to whisper into, a voice reading to me. Is there a poem that expresses this craving without viewing romantic love as a life-altering, world-saving thing?

Best,

Not Lonely, Just Looking for a Lover

Dear Not Lonely,

I love this request. And I’m thrilled to

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