#173

Roger Ibáñez

And Here You Are by Michael Blumenthal
It’s such a relief to see the woman you love walk out the door
some nights, for it’s ten o’clock and you need your eight hours
of sleep, and one glass of wine has been more than enough

and, as for lust—well, you can live without it most days and you
are glad, too, that the Ukrainian masseuse you see every Wednesday
is not in love with you, and has no plans to be, for it’s the pain

in your back you need relief from most, not that ambiguous itch,
and the wild successes of your peers no longer bother you
nor do your unresolved religious cravings nor the general injustice

of the world, no, there is very little that bothers you these days when
you turn, first, to the obituaries, second to the stock market, then,
after a long pause, to the book review, you are becoming a good citizen,

you do your morning exercises, count your accumulated blessings,
thank the Lord there’s a trolley just outside your door your girlfriend
can take back home to her own bed and here you are it is morning you

are alone every little heartbeat is yours to cherish the future is on fire
with nothing but its own kindling and whatever it is that’s burning
in its flames isn’t you and now you will take a shower and this is it.

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