Writing About You on Napkins

Writing About You on Napkins

For many years, he wrote about you on the backs of napkins,
And on their fronts, filling up all space with the ideas he had
Of what he would do to you.

I look at them now, these napkins, taken from where he keeps
Them in a hat box. You are still on his mind and on his napkins,
One for each of my thighs.

In you, it seems, there was something he thought he wanted
Things that he had placed there, in you, curled up things, like
Blankets but not blankets.

But instead, it seems, you turned out to be a very different kind
Of lover: not a place for reason or to create or mentor, mother
Or even, I guess, a muse.

In the end, you were a napkin on which he dabbed the corners
Of your mouth and, though your lips he still did long to kiss,
They were not, I guess…

The key. The key that turned a lock in him as it now turns in
Me and he found another kind of lock, he knew not where
Or where from.

Which was just as well, because, it seems, you did not want
Him either, taking bites out of him instead of licks and dabbing
Blood with napkins.

So, in the end, I wanted to write to you again, on this great napkin
That I have found, to tell you thank you and that I am sorry, for all
The times he wrote you.

More: Poetry

Image is “Riding the Cut Vein” by Mark Bradford

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