A happy drunk keeps striking
conversation with a coiffed yuppie
right in front of me on the bus.
It's rush hour and hot. This drunk
has the markings of a player.
His shiny shirt unbuttons to gold,
a chain punctuated by a shout out
to Jesus. His prey looks busy texting
and her long pale neck makes all men
fidget and lick their lips.
She is lovely. Her posture makes me want
to obey. She retorts to the Latin lover
with abrupt remarks for which he has
no further woo. He looks wounded,
a couple more times he gestures to speak,
but stops. She doesn't see this
but senses it, I'm sure. I imagine
I would do anything to please her.
The IT guy from the government center
rolls his eyes to her, empathetic to her
annoyance and passive aggressive to her lust.
She is unfazed by his silent judgment
of the drunk. Pink warms his cheeks behind
a manicured goatee, now twitching.
He looks toward me. I've already avoided
his eyes, sifting through my bag for a book.
I hope the book impresses her--I'm too
intellectual to hit on a lady either primarily
or secondarily. I am artsy, an artist, literary,
deep. I would read your body like a novel
analyze your lines like a poem.
I think you sense my attraction. I burn shame.
I bury my gaze in the pages of the book,
one of three by the same suddenly deceased author.
What is it like to have power over men? To paint
them with blood from their own hearts? What is it like
to write a novel about a girl? or three of them?
And to die? Is that, at all, a freedom?
~ Eldridge Gibb
View the poet's bio here.