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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.

Carrie Etter

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