John Keats
by Bob Bradshaw

Fanny's letters, he said,
were painful. He avoided them.
He preferred the distraction
of Severn's piano playing.
As if Haydn was a sedative
for love, TB, and lousy

John was dying here, in Rome.
His nurse, Severn,
had picked out
a small grave. Still John refused
to send for Fanny.

They say that lovers
can feel each other's presence
across great distances.
I wonder if Fanny thought
of John
the night a flame
passed between two tapers
in John's room...

February 23, 1821
John leaned into the calm dusk
of Severn's arms.
"Thank God", he said,

"It has come."

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