13thDec. × ’15

You are crying inconsolably in the cafeteria
child after child has told me so
They flock to you with smiles and jokes
trying to undo what they do not even know

Unspeakable truths have e¬¬nsued
you told a friend who told an adult
and now more someones know and try to make space
to say he did this and that and someone should say
It was not your fault

I hope those words
and someone to hold you


This weekend I am at a party
and a man who once was a boy
who once squared my shoulders to the mirror
trying to make me say “I am beautiful,”
watched me cry unable to
talks to me as if these intimacies were forgotten

For the most part they are
other than I remember the slipping movie spin
slow motion the assurance I felt lost in

We cautiously hold each other’s glance
alternately safe, alternately escaping


Dear child, someday this is what you deserve
the probability that such kismet things exist
makes me reach for another drink

When I was your age I remember
my mother wearing embarrassing socks
and thinking when I’m fifty I’ll never let myself slide
to such a state hand to forehead duress
And so I know you cannot hear me

I want to promise you it gets better
though futures I promise are empty

How fortunate I am
how hopeless this state of things
again you are in a shelter this evening


I return to the man who was a boy
let go my fantastical memory of years’ ago
like a dandelion blow the wisps away and say
Tell that beautiful woman you love her
you are so lovely and she would be so lucky

I steady myself to a taxi home
and pray for people
to slowly spin
this way

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