This actually happened a few days ago, but
I fell so hard I had to share it with the world.
Today I fell in love with Billy Collins.
After work I drove to someone else’s store
to drop off a book for a friend.
They said I’d just missed him:
Big Al with booming voice
who missed his book about artisan bread.
Instead of just going home
I found the secret spot in the middle
where for three hours there was only
poetry poetry poetry
in two quiet columns as large as the sky
(where no one else ever seems to stand or fly).
Love at hundredth sight,
I found a man I see often and
have even touched a few times
at work unobservant of treasure.
I let hungry eyes measure his lines,
an act too-long delayed by some play of the universe.
He was like a stranger I pass each evening at the park-
I’ve been curious
but without the bravery of a child
to greet or to speak,
or to do more than smile.
Beautiful familiar face
nestled between Chiasson and Crane
with words about a penis at a typewriter,
making me laugh aloud over Sung Dynasty names
and then remember that I had forgotten
the rest of the world was near.
Strange looks from teenagers
who thought I was weird
for being on the floor with a notebook/dancing pen.
I decided right then when they decided to speak
I’d had enough of my bra
and the shoes on my feet;
it was time to make the other books whisper.
He became the oldest man so quickly introduced to my bed-
so powerful he kept me from where I’m usually led
seeking colorful sadness or meaning in flowers,
or Sendaks that hide because they were drawn
instead of written.
And now I pause
because I realize I am smitten with two-
one man dead and one man new
at the youthful age of seventy-one…
don’t tell Maurice
I’m having fun with someone else.