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I’m reading Adrienne Rich’s What Is Found There,
and she’s digging with a heavy shovel
into her experience as a lesbian poet
when such a thing was hard.

I’m more fascinated by a piece of detritus
captured in the gutter of the book.
It glows orange in the hot August sun;
a tomato seed, or an insect—perhaps a fruit fly.

I should be focused on Adrienne’s words,
but I can’t pretend to understand her journey.
I’m just a straight man on a straight road,
nodding at his girlfriend, trying not to lose his way.

And so, I stop reading and write this poem.

2023.08.17 – 2023.12.28

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