Today's poem is by Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson

The Czar

has a list of regrets. It's short, and ghost-written.

Sometimes other people enjoy works of literature
and close the cover then drink a fine glass of water.

The Czar is fully aware he'll never be his own ghost

because that would require, you know, some longing.
He's a full set of parentheses, a packed gold locket.

Eternal virginity, in a way, because nothing tears him.

He wonders about all the rooms he ever slept in, not
out of sentiment, but maybe he left a favorite hat.

Maybe cobwebs made a daguerreotype of his visage.

Or perhaps a pair of yoga pants will come along, be
his eternal savior. The Czar's sister has dimples, but

not in her cheeks. Her shoulders. Maybe this explains

his overuse of the exclamation point and air quotes,
which he considers foreplay. The necessary regrets

congregate. Like quitting book club before book club

quits you. Save the Date anyway, the Czar's sister said,
holding a stick that once held a red velvet cakesicle.

Somebody gets the last laugh. Somebody gets crumbs.

Copyright © 2016 Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson All rights reserved
from The Czar
Black Lawrence Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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