After the Take

He comes uninvited, expects to be expected

struts: no hesitation at the threshold, no adjusting to what’s not his. I brace

for his dangerous lack of doubt. His nostrils flare. His mouth splits into a grin, one corner dark where teeth are missing. I think of his mess of hair standing out from his head, now tamed by a plastic headband.

I think of the episode, of getting high on light, on possibility. High enough to fall for anybody, and I did.

Visiting me in my hospital room, he’d sprawl in the only chair, map out his plans for me. I’d marry him in Morocco and he’d become an American.

What I want is to shove him into the past.

I imagine letting the intercom ring and ring and ring.

I picture him out there, doubting.
No papers. One-way ticket.

How are things? I slide the question across the table at him. He’s edgy, says it’s my stacks of books. Blames them for what’s wrong with my life. But he knows what I need. Get a TV. Go into business. Sell stuff.

Our first conversation should have been our last.

Rigged, one-time, mood-enabled intimacy. Without my clothes, I became an extension of his body.

He did as he pleased.

Oblivious, lingering,

he talks and talks

while I imagine yanking off his headband.

A forty-year old macho without his plastic faux-tortoiseshell headband.

Where are the doorways I found myself moving through? Dimensions, a labyrinth, what I no longer feel.

The lover lingers, insisting he’s proof,

then gets up decidedly. I wonder what’s been decided. He reaches, I retract, and he’s gone.

I imagine letting the intercom ring and ring and ring.