This story is paired with Chapter 5 of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.
How do you assemble a lover? Byron is bloated, the famous charm lost in bucolic orgies,
but clever. Take his tongue, those tripping Alexandrines, pulsing with sex.
For the body find a sportsman, bulging muscles, strong thighs, a good leg. Limit his
claret to one bottle after dinner. Make him a strong swimmer.
Whose heart do you choose? As a child you pined for your father, Electra burning,
until his callous letters cooled your flames. Carry a swollen heart in a book of poems.
Ignore the cries from the cellar, the serving maids debauched. Deny Harriet, her hair
dripping with weeds. Gloss over Colonel Hogg’s groping hands.
When he dies, leaving nothing but debts, rehabilitate his reputation.
Think only of his poems, his ideas. Re-write your life as a great romance.
Kat Cameron’s poetry has appeared in journals including CV2, The Fiddlehead, Freefall, Grain, Literary Review of Canada, Queen’s Quarterly, Room, and South Dakota Review. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick and teaches English and writing at Concordia University College.