:: Article

Break-up letter & other poems

By Kathryn Maris.

24 December 2015

Did not really sleep: no Xanax
yesterday, which means I won’t sleep,
then the next night is usually OK,
Xanax or no. It’s Christmas Eve
in Spain, the important day. We’ll
break Dorota’s wafer. My mood
is less good than yesterday when
I would call it ‘normal’. I am weepy
when I even think of M. The Wok
meal upset his stomach. Four layers
of tablecloth & the table burned
under the raclette machine
while we were laughing at the word
‘empacho.’ C & I sparred.

Report card: Classics


When he is in the spotlight, he produces
the goods satisfactorily enough.
He is not a committed Hellenist
it has to be said
which is a shame but not shameful.



The focus and drift of my comments have not changed
in the brief interval since they were written.
If I stand over him with a weapon
of mass destruction he does what he has to—
but I would rather not.

Break-up letter

First of all, I’m 51. I am unable to love in my life as best I can.
I loved you often one time. I was very scared: intimacy
meant forever. From December 2011 to September 2012
I was married to egg shells. (I am still working on that able love.)
But I woke up at that point, I tried to make promises I couldn’t keep.
I’m not sure what you said: Work on this while being with me or Go.
You were trapped with times of great happiness, so I walked,
scared of your trust. Irrational and unreasonable, time terrified me.
I wasn’t happier with the relationship than I was. If I told you
I loved you, you would think I wasn’t sure I could love you.

I’m sorry I didn’t communicate better while we were together
but it always felt very real to me when you were often angry.
I felt your just anger. I put it all down to your friends and the fact
that I can’t change this, or anyone, forever. I always told you
I didn’t want to get it. I like people together and one-on-one,
but I also like being distrustful and never certain of my love.
The day I broke up with you, I broke up with you because
I loved you enough. This didn’t seem to make you happy.
I’m not saying my responses are correct but they are my
safe course. I’m a confused person and I hope you move on.

Good day

Do not be surprised
Reading my letter does not take much of your time
I understand you correctly
Looking for a girl you would like on the Internet
Looking for a woman for serious relationship
My opinion is the same as yours
I want to find a man perhaps even for marriage
If you want to play with me and my feelings
better not to respond to my letter
I’d like to find a sincere and loving man
I’m looking for a real man
I say this now so that later it was easier to communicate
A bit about me…
Irina my name…
I live in Russia…
I have permanent job and permanent salary
All is well in my life, with friends and parents
but there is no man who would love me
and it is hard for me to solitude
A lot of information is not currently the best option
I await your response and I’ll tell you more
You can ask me any question
And now I have to go
Your letter and a story about yourself will please me if
you are looking for a Woman for marriage and serious relationships
Postscript: I will answer some of your questions
I’m not looking for money or a sponsor for my life
I do not need your money, I have my own money
and even some savings
I hope I can find a single man who will never let me not hurt
Waiting for an answer
Your Irina


Kathryn Maris is a poet from New York City who has lived in London since 1999. She has published two full collections, God Loves You and The Book of Jobs, as well as a pamphlet of found poetry with If A Leaf Falls Press. Her poems have recently appeared in Granta, Poetry, Ploughshares, tender, The New Statesman and The Best British Poetry. She teaches at the Poetry School.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, June 19th, 2016.