A comment from Ellen, illustrated.
I am having a cocktail at my favorite bar. While sipping a manhattan, a handsome man (Clive?) sidles up beside me and says that he has noticed me before and would like to give me a book of poetry and inscribes his favorite verse.
I pick up the book, peruse it, I realize that I am happily married to the love of my life. As I leave the bar, I pitch the book of poetry in a rubbish bin.
Perhaps this is what happened to the second book of poetry: Jessica tries to offer SM a book of poetry while they are sitting on the steps of the Crippled Children’s Home sharing a pasty and a hit from her hip flask.
SM is a famous ballet star and used to fans’ efforts to ingratiate themselves. After she has left the scene, he sashays over to a parked car and tosses the book in. He secretly has an unrequited crush on Vladimir the stage hand and her offer is out of the question.
Meanwhile, Al, the loving husband and stalwart mechanic, remembers the days when he was a secret spy and envy of the other soldiers in the barracks. Young pretty nurses flirting outrageously as he guides them through sedition. He has only to look at the book of poetry on his credenza and feel a perverse flush of derring do, marveling that his wife has never asked him of its origin.
Thanks Ellen, you’re a champion.