This poem came to being after I read a book called Against Love, by Laura Kipnis. I wrote the poem in response to a quote that struck me: “Perhaps love affairs are for saying the unsayable.” I wanted this poem to be a narrative, which is why prose felt—and remained—the most appropriate form. The first draft was simply my attempt at getting the concept and the metaphor in one place on the page. Like many first drafts of mine, version one contained most of the pieces, but the artistry, specificity, and music took the backseat to the basic elements of the narrator’s story. Similarly, in first drafts, my narrator’s voice/personality are often slow to emerge from the poem. She imagines and supposes and ponders — she very rarely asserts herself on the first try. Even the title of the first draft is seemingly innocuous with the narrator’s proclamation being tucked into the first line of the poem. In revising, I not only decided to move the proclamation up into the title, but I also chose to eliminate the repetitive “because” structure at the opening to give the narrator more agency. She wasn’t professing herself a loyal adulteress because her partner was observing the changes in the home/the relationship. She chose instead to say the unsayable all on her own, and in doing so, I think she became a much bolder, authoritative figure in the poem.
Anna Rose Welch is a violinist and editor in Erie, PA. She holds an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2014, The Kenyon Review Online, Guernica, Barrow Street, Crab Orchard Review, The Paris-American, and elsewhere.