2021-12-17T12:07:31-08:00March 22nd, 2013|Relationships|

Unlikely patron of the self-help section

His head is bald in that strange spot
directly behind the face
so that it looks like another face,
blank and sweaty,
framed by hair all round
like an Orthodox Jew.

He wears running shoes and tan pants,
a blue windbreaker
with a grocery store logo on it
so that you know it was probably free.

He is almost old,
still big but hunched over,
the skin on his hands splattered
with the brown stains of age.

He is in front of me in line
and I don’t see them
until the lady calls him up to her till.

A stack of self-help books.

Love is a Choice
How to be an Adult in Relationships
Emotional Fitness for Couples

I count eight of them,
a library of hope
and as he leaves the bookstore
with his two bags,
I see his face
shy and worn.

I do my secret ritual
that I reserve for big wishes:

May she see past it all
to her gentle brave knight.

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