top of page

To Have Been Othello’s Second Wife

Remember, not one man in the room wished him undone

or misremembered the service he had done the state.

Even now viewers love jailhouse correspondence,

the soft promise of a conjugal visit won upstate.

In Cyprus, he would have found another easily,

with his glory and his tragic eyes, alone in state.

I can be glad he chose me like a flower from the corner stall,

before that moment, I did not imagine marriage to one of state.

I quickly learned to keep a tight bud of my heart,

blossoming too quickly will cause a rotten state.

Every gristly killer keeps a file of letters from the women

who have fallen for his charms while he is within the state.

And no one thought of him as murdering,

he was a hapless, loving man unconscious of his state.

And besides, he was a man of military rule,

busy with the deeply secret motions of the state.

Violence must come to him more easily,

having seen what he had seen but couldn’t state.

I was convinced, or didn’t need to be,

that one sole act was not the measure of a man’s state.

I could be more careful, his sad eyes told me he had learned,

he could love again and withstand the state.

Women will love a wronged man, believe our

love will be the one that rights Othello from his state.


Elizabeth Sylvia is a writer of poems and other lists who lives with her family in Massachusetts, where she teaches high school English and coaches debate. Elizabeth began submitting poems for publication in 2018; her work has been featured in Literary Mama, Noctua Review, and Off the Coast. She has work upcoming in RHINO and Main Street Rag.

bottom of page