resentment

When one thinks of one’s better friendships —
noble individuals who make their own piecrusts,
laugh into their tea, listen to Bob Dylan
in the morning, Nina Simone at night,
and invite friends over often —
who doesn’t feel a mean itch?
I dream of a big pile of cash.
Let’s say it’s a tip jar on a low counter,
an irresistible set-up:
busy proprietor, waitstaff out smoking.
The patrons seem kind, probably dog owners,
some with their shopping and one with a baby.
And that easy money within arms’ reach.
I know what I want.
I will steal those tips and I will run like hell,
pursued by that gently balding shopowner,
those smiling men with soft hands,
those compassionate women.
I will outdistance them all and invest my spoils
in a deep unworthiness, red with tinted glass,
fast as a midlife crisis
and fueled by resentment.
I will punish every loving gesture
With vast withdrawal;
I will blaze a new highway into sun-scorched wilderness.
Eventually I will break down, alone,
and crawl hands and knees
towards some new town with unfamiliar shops,
and sit in the gutter of deprivation
regarding someone else’s life.

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