Today's poem is by Sarah Perrier

Academic Affairs

Why don't you love me, and we can hit the road together,
cruise the lecture circuit and tell other single people

about the work it takes to make it work. Together,
we'll talk talk talk about the necessity of long-term

memory and the value of the grudge. Your flipchart
of my body parceled out like a butcher's map

shows the exact locations of too much and too little
with tiny stuck-on arrows, their sharp points as fine

as my revenge: reading poems instead of lectures,
each one a reminder of other men I left for doing less.

Afterward, alone again, come up beside me, nuzzle my ear
and quote Foucault: Tomorrow, sex will be good again.

Now add But tonight you're on your own. This is how
itinerant scholars of loss communicate: quote, footnote.

Our end notes and marginalia are full of longing for the pet
projects we can't let go, yours on fixing up my life, mine

a love poem I've been working on for years. It reads,
I can take it if you can; I can take it if you can.

Copyright © 2003 Sarah Perrier All rights reserved
from Just One of Those Things
The Kent State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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