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Loving Old Men, Part 2


I love two old men–
Four if you count the ones
I hug when I see. Guidance given that I love

Especially when I’m drunk or tired or high or
All three and write the wrong past tense.
I kept myself from being destroyed in a whirlwind
By immediately correcting my mistake.
Led. Not the element.

During the day I’ll find a table
Where the coffee is too strong and
Not be told that my words are wrong but
If it were him this is where it would go.
It’s usually some place I didn’t know existed and
Would never have found on my own.

The other two go home with me or
Use my bag as a swing. One
Makes me think hard. Words are slow
When he’s been at my side. I take care
With my pen spend minutes at a time
Deciding period or comma and at the end
Have a poem to be read with hot tea.

That’s not how it is with the last one.
He is there when I can’t sleep and want
Pictures and children that may never be mine.
Dark things. Monsters. Nights with bad dreams.
Instead of being there and making me think
He comes because I have thought too much.
Not enough paper exists for the words
I’ll never write with him near. There is no fear
Of using the wrong punctuation because
His brand of sadness does not falter
When it walks.

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