a brief nod
an acquiescence
somewhere between grace
and goodbye.
it's barely touch, and go
no betrayal
no display
only the acceptable front
the one that protects
the one we perfect,
the only way I remember.

such a cruel interaction,
distance and space
forcibly maintained
because of too afraid
and knowing better,
having counted the cost
of what it would take
to speak, to change
to bring to the air
the denied persistance
of mindful thought.
yes, having counted the cost
and in the end, stupidly
still willing to put out,
the literate whore,
willing to pay.