Although she married twelve years after Keats died, Fanny Brawne wore
the engagement ring he gave her until her death.
Since Louis hasn’t asked, I have
not told. I am discreet —
I clean it only when alone,
rubbing the boxy beet
red stone into a dark mirror.
Some law prohibits this:
on the left hand, a wedding band;
the right’s ring a promise
unfulfilled. Married, I am still
engaged. I did not choose.
Or that is not a ring there, but
the past’s persisting bruise.