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He gave me pause

Fourth of July in Vermont.
Having spent the day at the Rock river,
Sunning ourselves and frolicking in our all-together,
We came into town for dinner
And a place to sleep.
We wandered the streets
In search of a place that wasn't closed.
At a table covered with cast off clothing,
In front of the macrobiotic bookstore and cafe,
There he sat
Playing the guitar.
He gave me pause.
I looked at him.
Every thought vanishing from my head.
I wanted just to sit with him,
Listen to him play,
Or whatever he cared to say
For as long as he cared to remain.
I don't do underage men.
But there are times
And this was one of them
When temptation floods all senses and sense.
I would have loved to have lost myself in him.
But we let reason intrude
And ultimately to prevail.
We set off in a different direction,
Settled into a hotel room,
Decided a bit too late
To check out the fireworks,
Then slept.
The next day,
At that same cafe
There he was again.
This time inside and upstairs
With his guitar.
When we asked about coffee
I learned his name.
But later, in spite of myself, I forgot it.
They don't have coffee
In a macrobiotic cafe
So early on a holiday weekend.
We went elsewhere.
And he went back outside.
Through the window of our restaurant
On the other side of the parking lot
I stared.
Losing myself in thoughts of him.
He gave me pause.

20 August 2003

by Bill Cattey