She would always say, “You never know,”
to his come-ons, which is girl code for
“Not in this lifetime, pal, but thanks for playing.
Feel free to use your handy home version of our game.”
It’s a nice bit of camouflage and easily swallowed
obfuscation. Guys do it, too, when we answer
their questions about tomorrows and nows with
“Of course” and “Why would even have to ask?”
Philosophers, psychologists and talk show hosts
have parsed the source of such gauzy observations.
She needs to be tapped into her own and everybody’s
feelings, feelings of need and being needed
by everyone and a Right One. He competes
for whichever That One is there, keeping an eye
on the scoreboards, just to maintain
his guyness ranking among rivals of flesh and straw.
Someday, some reach an age where we realize
feelings can sometimes hide ugliness,
like newly fallen snow on a junk pile,
and rankings are stews of data du jour.
We junkyard philosophers poll ourselves and decide
to leave all that hazy rhetoric to foggy poets like me
and to those who insist on hiding lonely truth
from themselves. All by themselves.