Published on Academy of American Poets (

Elsa Is Involved in a Clandestine Love Affair

There is no fixed place and by that I mean
take a look at things that are. Split by the
turn of year, its newness and all it brings,
which of its possibilities can we trust?
Elsa is involved in a clandestine
love affair which, let’s be honest, should be
all love affairs until they’re over. She finds
herself dreaming of children and many
other delicacies. Sugared eggs. A
lost palace. But night brings a great expanse
and it’s much too quiet in these hallways.
On her back, Elsa holds her breath, her hands
beneath her, resisting, resisting. That
temptation can be such a dirty rat.


Copyright © 2017 by Angela Veronica Wong. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 2, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘Elsa Is Involved in a Clandestine Love Affair’ is from a series of sonnets about a fictional mistress of Louis XV. The series explores persona and character, gendered emotional saturation, and legacies of colonialism by juxtaposing 18th-century language and historical detail with modern phrases and contemporary culture.”
—Angela Veronica Wong


Angela Veronica Wong

Angela Veronica Wong is the author of Elsa: An Unauthorized Autobiography, (Black Radish Books, 2017). 

Date Published: 2017-03-02

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