Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Poem by a Poet

Because it is National Poetry Month, I'm writing a poem a day until the end of April. So are various other poets, amateur and professional (read: paid). Taylor Mali, one of the pros, is posting his poems on his blog as well, but this is one he wrote in January. I am a fan.

What You’ll Look Like When You’re Abducted
by Taylor Mali
This morning, I asked if I could take your picture
to have when we travel so that when you’re abducted,
I’ll be able to go straight to the local police and say,
This is what she looks like. Please, help me find her!
You who had just awoken laughed and said doing so
would likely make the police consider me a suspect,
which I said I could live with, having nothing to hide.
I’m an organized man. I just love you and want you back.
You looked unconvinced and sleepy still, but perhaps
remembered how once, decades before I ever knew you,
an official at the American Embassy told me the only thing
stopping her from issuing me an instant emergency passport
(to replace the one I had lost while on a camel safari in Kenya)
was two regulation passport photos, two simple photos, which
could be obtained from any copy shop or photography studio
I might be able to find open. In Nairobi. On a Saturday night.
I asked you if you wanted a shower before I took the picture.
Perhaps a chance to put on makeup. And I’ll be damned
if I didn’t fall deeper in love with you for saying, No.
My hair is filthy and disheveled. I’m tired and need my coffee.
Take the picture now.

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