The Passage of Time IV — Imp at the Bridgehead

(Unlike some of the poet’s other prose series, this one is sequential in development, and best begun at the beginning)


He’d just inherited a house.

Elaborated on the private back yard, the extra downstairs bedroom. Offered everything from breakfast to a ride (for which I thanked him before eating a banana and walking in). Indicated he had a donation for the poetry.

“You’re very pretty,” he said almost immediately.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but it is clear between us that this meeting is no kind of a sexual solicitation, right? It’s been ten years since my last love affair, and while I’m not closed to the option, it sure isn’t going to happen overnight.”

He seemed a little shocked. “Oh, no, nothing like that,” he murmured.

“I apologize if I’ve offended you — you have to understand that, when one is female and homeless, it seems to be a constant assumption that one will be grateful enough to give up the body for so much as a sandwich.”

Nixing his suggestion that we abandon my cart in the driveway of his home and climb two sets of stairs to disappear inside his front door, I perched on the front steps with him for about five minutes of conversation, before he heaved a deep sigh.

“It’s so hard being male,” he said.

“I’m sure it is,” I sympathized. What’s the most difficult thing about it you’re thinking of now?”

“Oh — the desire…”

“I understand that nobody is getting enough love right now,” I replied. “If I could take every man in the world in my arms and comfort them, I would— but clearly I can’t do that, right? What I can do is to advocate more openness to authentic love in my poetry. So that’s what I do.”

A heavy silence fell.

I sighed, and reached for the boot I’d removed to sit cross-legged.

“Well, I guess I’ll go inside and get some things done,” he said quickly, “let you get on with your adventure.”

Actually tried to make casual conversation as I went to my cart in silence.

Before I put it in motion, I wished him a pleasant afternoon.


Among us, poets are not paid. The poet/editor of this website, being physically disabled, lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. Become a patron of the fine arts at:

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