Pat, on the Subject of Barbara

I don’t know what she was thinking,
after all this time, breathing at me
about Modigliani, my red hair

as if—what—I would leave Ralph,
break his heart, for what amounts to
girlish heavy petting, at most,

or the Victorian model of friendship?
Read any old novel, and you’ll find
girls in bed together, panting and

talking about bosoms—and then
they marry men. So, it’s not worth
thinking about. I wish she hadn’t.

Still, though, when I saw her email,
all the old lights lit up again, a whole
harbor, a fleet of ships in her name.



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