To the poet

I can see that you’re sitting there, pretending to read the paper, fantasizing about me. About my piercings and tattoos and how you could please me by buying me patchouli and fresh local irises and shiitakes. You would rent a loft and have me move in and life would be sunlit and candlelit by turns. I’d be an easy catch, late thirties and still pouring coffee and toasting bagels. But maybe you don’t imagine that I have two children? One with a learning disorder? A live-in sister? Psoriasis? You know as well as I do that even if I hadn’t, we wouldn’t spend the rest of our lives making love on the futon. Anyway, you’re not my only gazer: there’s the Swedish human rights attorney, and the bass player with the houseboat, both at least ten years younger, I might mention. Does someone pay you to write dreams in your notebook, to stare through the steam of your half-caf? What’s behind your glut of down time? My life’s bound up, all hours, with ties most folks can’t see. And all my dreams are free.

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