Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Do You Need?

do we make history? you asked
knocking the heel of your boot against mine,
holding your wrist behind your head,
so I could see the fur in your armpit.
or are we made by history?

that's when I accused you--rightly
of plagiarizing Tony Kushner,
because I recognized that quote
from an old interview in Mother Jones,
which I used to read before I moved to
New York and got bored by The Whole Thing.

you said
you did it because
you knew that I knew
the quote, and you knew that
it would provoke, in me, the response
that you wanted, and what did it say
about me
that I did exactly that.
nothing, I said.
what does all that say about you?

let me, I used to say.
reaching into your wet eyeball
to retrieve a stray lash.

what do you need?
I wanted to say.
when you got out of bed and went into the
dark living room, with long shadows
born of the dry, mangy ficus by the
window, you stood there
looking away for
a moment,

what do you need?

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