The Almost Sweetheart of Sigma Phi Epsilon

A Letter Found Taped to My Dorm Room Door, 1982


How are you?

Are you still wild?

I have sort of a question to ask you.

Our initiation semiformal is this Saturday.

I asked a girl who goes to school in Boston last week.

Things were all set—

Until I found out she can’t go.

That is no longer important,

But I still need a date.

I tried to think of girls to ask,

With having fun in mind.

I thought immediately of you.

I want to be sure this will not cause you any trouble—

You know, with your complex personal life.

Saturday Night

The Kappa sisters curled my hair,

A smiling army.

I did not have a dress.

They found one in Kathleen’s closet,

A size too large.

Shoes from Laura’s room,

That gave me blisters.

Maura painted my face.

I did not look like me.

I was not fun, or wild.

I missed you.

It was 2 am, and I stumbled out of the pub,

You found me and kicked that guy’s ass.

I was the almost sweetheart of Sigma Phi Epilson.

Susan Cossette is the author of Peggy Sue Messed Up (2017).  A two-time recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in Rust and MothAdelaideClockwise CatAnti-Heroin ChicThe Scarecrow and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox

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