the man i love most is made of paper and fabric,
sweet pulp-flesh bound by glue and string.
he is ephemeral, eternal, copied and pressed,
burns down in a minute flat, maybe less.
the smooth lines of him round off with crossed t's,
dotted i's, semicolon and full stop. his y's curl
like a lover's smile. his h's ache like a bitten tongue.
he can't cure me, he can't scold me. someone i
could talk to and won't talk back, one i can't hurt.
he has been dedicated to more than me: everyone:
to wives and children and fathers and sisters. he is for
the universe, for the seven billion and counting, i am
for all of him and his kind. for the moment when i sweetly
crack his spine to the moment i fold him between two covers,
i will love him and i will leave him again and again.
he is typeset and mass-printed. got me surrounded
by a paper-thick forest of gilded pages, firm strong type,
bold black determined ink. i could never love them all.
who am i: dedicated to none of him. this love goes up in dark smoke.
loving my man means leaving him on a bus seat,
on a park bench, at a restaurant, for someone else to love
while i find another lover, my man my paper man.