– Susan Rich –


Once a man offered me his heart like a glass of water 
how to accept or decline?  

Sometimes all I speak is doubt   

delineated by the double lines  
of railway tracks; sometimes   

I’m an incomplete bridge, crayon red Xs extending   

across a world map.  
A man offers me his bed like an emergency   

exit, a forklift, a raft.   

The easy-to-read instructions  
sequestered in the arms of his leather jacket.  

Sometimes a woman needs   

small habits, homegrown salad, good sex. 
Instead, she cultivates cats and a cupcake maker,  

attempts enlightenment— prays to  leaf skeletons on her deck.  

The woman and the man say yes – 
say no, say maybe, perhaps.  

Neither one knows what they will do  
to the other.   

Perhaps they’re acorns falling   

on the roof, a Sunday paper, this all-embracing 
ocean view.  

Once a man offered me his fortune 
in drumbeats and song  

tuned to some interior window; something buried in blue.