when I turn the corner, there you are,
in your daisy yellow cap and gown,
an oddity among graduates. You are so
amusing, I take it as omen that you will
muse me. And you do
in your odd way, cause me to alter
every verdict, each corridor I traverse
until it is mine and mine alone. I have been
solitary in more than the usual sense.
Call it selfish, I don’t mind.
I’ve never flushed a toilet out of loneliness
for another’s bodily sounds. I have a job,
where I am mouth to mouth with mundane
problems, or wash a naked body with its
private odor—the breasts, the genitals.
Most days, any contact is more than I can bear.
Even when the patient is mute, there is much
distraction in our touch. How can I share
this great secret? Living at a distance
is the only way I can truly see you.