Her attractive pain so prone to expression
I imagine blinking twice when it's finally done and thinking,
The first marriage, the one for the alumni magazine.
So cynical a character, so tight-fisted with hope and loathe to reliquish it, the miser within me ungiving, investing,
biding time, imitating patience, profiting from complicated motives, enacting a closed room comedy in yellow light--
The Hunchback's Dirty Mood.
Hope rattles around in my head like a dime in a dryer.
Her attractive pain, so strongly identifiable, looking for her on the subway home most days I'm disappointed but when she's there I always think, Oh no.
Even now I've started bowing out of opportunities to add to my collection of remembered glances, loving not the trudge up muddy heath to get there, kneel and be a hypocrite.
My capfull of small change, her bright tossings, I mount them on catalogued pages, each one's value so far above its face I think she can have no idea what she is doing, has she never examined them since she came into their possession, they appear to be completely unappraised--
what treasure trove beneath her altar
what counterfeiter's spattered lair.