He Would Know

Does he have a daughter?
I said.
I asked.

He spoke of technical items
in nonsensical terms, jargon, perhaps,
familiar to those who may possess
such instruments, I suppose.
And he talked of both the large and
the small dots in an atlas, the rivers
that ran through them,
or sacred places nearby,
as if he had visited
to each one of them.

He prattled on about romance;
not the type written in pulp fiction,
or an epic Victorian tale
that captures all sensibilities,
but more that of
a television gum commercial.

She shrugged
her shoulders.

I noticed.

When he articulated his feelings,
common emotions were described
with plagiaristic hyperbole,
the air laden with hollow words
tangled up in metaphor and
complicated thesaurian terms
that took up so much space,
but really meant little.
Even less
than brittle excuses.

I know nothing
of his family, she said,
a reply that seemed
more proper
than obvious.

The parlour continued to fill
with a one-man chorus
holding court among the gadflies,
gumshoe grifters, monomaniacs,
and mealy-mouthed mavens
brandishing insecurities
over intellect, as they offered
comment and critique, a want to
ever so badly be included
in the conversation.

He doesn’t,
I said.
My confident reply.

I knew.

Should he have a daughter,
he would know
how to properly speak
of wonder,
gentle understanding,
or incidental beauty
and of love.

© 2018 j.g. lewis

International Poetry Collective

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