What You Will Pay For

Months in advance
you put in for the time off.
You book the flight, hotel
the rental car.
It doesn’t have to be Europe
or exotic
it can be Vegas
or that Grand Canyon
that many have fallen into
by accident or on purpose.
All you want is to stand on that edge
of anticipation
for as long as you can.
It doesn’t matter that the beach
won’t look like the pictures,
or that the accommodations you can afford
will fail to overwhelm.
You already know that absolute happiness
is impossible wherever you stand,
that you are the wrong end of a magnet
unable to make a connection—
joy is an achievement of your mind
as it hovers above the pillow
before you go to sleep.
It isn’t the view from the mountaintop
or the taste of fresh lobster
that will make your trip worth the exchange
of a paycheck or two.
The sweet pleasure of longing is the prize.
The delicious expectation,
prolonged and satisfying—
this is what you wanted.
For this, you would pay
almost anything.




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