You are what I read between the lines
You are vines climbing crumbling English mansions
Lakes with Algonquian names
Cold air gliding along the peaks of a mountain range
You talk of the spaces art gets lost in
Incomprehensible intangibles
Of ideas getting stuck in your teeth

Your eyes are made of newsprint
Body as angular as the constellation Orion
I wonder if someone broke you and put you back together
You tend clean fingernails
You are unringed
But I’m not thinking about that

Let’s be honest
You’re kinda fit but you’re not fit
Drawing long whistling breaths between jazz sentences
You are three-syllable words like photograph and library and newspaper
Post offices and dead parents
You were Catholic once
Now you’re academically interested in the Bible
You are palm trees and harmattan but you only ever summer in Europe
You only use words with Latin roots, but you are Anglo-Saxon cool
You are boring shoes
You don’t remind me at all of my dad

In college, you were a Panther
Mean and bearded and reading constantly
You didn’t cook, but you kept a shirt ironed, hair uncut like wild diamonds
They all said you’d be a professor
You didn’t read your poetry out loud
You were the single man all the girlfriends called their best friend
You played records for them - a nice guy
You were corny

I don’t like you in your college days
I like you in your coffee mug, brown leather bomber jacket
9am office hours and 9pm bedtime
Wearing long socks and spectacles
Gripping your chest while you read
Alone in the evening with a balanced dinner plate
Drinking with no excitement
I like you at a professional distance
But I swear I have 30 year-old bones
I like you and I am perverse and maybe this is a hormonal imbalance
Maybe I drank too much milk or too little
But I like you and a house in the suburbs and a back porch and two kids and getting even older
I like you and sometimes, I wish I could dilute myself
So the idea of you would get lost inside of me