It isn’t his belt or his zipper
that I want undone,
but the buttons on his coat
after he enters from a life outside
these walls, where his name is
on the cover of those books I read.
I want his mind spread out before me,
opened up as if I’m the only one
who could possibly understand
or touch his depth.
And he’d act modest when I asked him
to reveal his greatest weakness,
insist that I go first—
and I would shyly explain
the way I love to abandon my work
and waste the day, get in bed early
to read his books and write poetry
about how sad it is we’ll never really meet.
Pensively, he’d listen,
then admit with trepidation
he spends too much time online,
wasting the dark hours sifting
through the futureless talents
of flexible girls, wondering if he’ll ever find one
with an equal depth – wide enough
to understand him and forgive him.
“Do you think you’ll ever find her?”
I’d ask, and then watch him squirm
and loosen his tie as he perfectly explained
the thing I thought that only I
could comprehend: He hoped not—
what he wanted was to keep wanting.
After a few hours, he’d stand,
satisfied and erect with purpose,
and remind me he shouldn’t stay
if happiness was our goal—
that what we both really needed was
a conversation like this,
in a private room where we could
expose some of our truths
under the florescent light
and exit into world a little brighter.