The Paris Review

Poetry Rx: Pleasure as a Means

In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Sarah Kay is on the line.

Original illustration by Ellis Rosen.

Dear Poets,

My cousin is getting married in a month. We were born ten days apart, which we take pride in like we planned it, and grew up like sisters. We drifted a bit and now work different hours and are states away. We have a tradition of writing something to each other before momentous occasions. I’ve always looked up to her—she’s an adventurous, kind soul and has shouldered a lot of unexpected responsibility with grace. I have this well of happiness for her and her soon-to-be husband, but I’m having trouble expressing it. I know she’d appreciate even a simple “I’m

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