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Shop Talk: A Poem

Mansfield Park Personal Ad

Note: Over the next few days, I’m going to start posting some of my old poems here, part of a larger project to gather all my writing in one place. Here is the first poem.

Shop Talk

Dominant Male, requires adoring and
obedient submissive for strict discipline
and body worship.

Vintage-model SWM, 50, looking for
experienced driver with well-kept garage who
prefers smooth driving for possible long-distance
adventure. I handle mountain roads well and

still have juice in the battery.
Voice Mailbox 50235.
She circles this one with her felt-tip
pen and mumbles a kind of voodoo

mantra, willing the red ink,
this unbroken circle of her own blood, to
keep out the others. She saw him first.
She claims 50235 for herself and they consume

each other with the fierce, impetuous
hunger of books she is too proud to read.
She calls and leaves a message
whispering semi-erotic shop talk

about garages and tools and classic cars and
how she is getting hot. Mmm, so hot.

Now they are zipping through the Sierras in 50235’s
Cadillac – a convertible – his platinum
hair impervious to the wind
and he is so dashing. He smiles

this disarming smile – shockingly white teeth (all real) –
and his bronze skin a leather landscape –
and they listen to good jazz as they drive –
and, god, she is so witty.

Friendship and more. SWF seeking
feminine middle-aged man hater with
no sexual hang-ups.
This is unexplored territory for her.

Now they are sharing a plate of sashimi and
oyster shooters at The Raw Bar. Now they are going
to poetry readings at the Pink Flamingo –
and they sit in front of the fireplace – hot

on her skin – and she is soft –
and men – the bastards – are the furthest
thing from her mind

as 61834 moves a hand
further up her thigh.

Faithfully yours. Two Ch men, one shy,
one outgoing, seeking 2 Ch women, for private Bible
study, must have humor, sensitivity, security,
nonsmokers only.

MWF seeking anybody,
warm hands but cold feet,
pours over the personals each evening at
her kitchen table and lives a 2nd-hand

life there. Oldest son upstairs
annihilating zombies on his computer.
Husband throwing touchdown passes
from the pocket of his La-Z-Boy chair.

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