For Dear Miss Braune (but not at all)

My dearest (though never shall you be again),
Tell me that my form offends.
Tell me how you wish no part of me
nearer to you than the stars
are to the earth.
Remind me, oh dove, of the life
you would prefer to mine.
Then, I shall slip out the back door
of my thoughts of you
(I will tremble less in our passings;
I will be miserable instead),
of unattainable hoping.
I will not think on your smile
or your many kindnesses.
Oh my dearest, be cruel.
Be cruel.
Cast me away and ruin my hope of you.
For, every sweet movement
is my undoing, a cancer to me,
growing yet another tumor on my heart.
Apart from you, my illness would be quite singular,
only one thing to cause me pain.
But stay by my bedside
lest this cancer take me from this world.

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