I Crave

I crave interaction.
I want it, desperately,
But it requires conversation.
And conversation requires words.
But here it is,
My dilemma, my handicap:
You know that feeling you get
In your throat when you haven’t
Had a drink of water for an entire day?
It’s like that.
I can’t swallow, or think, or speak.
I know what I want to say,
And I know to whom I want to say it,
But there’s no lubrication in my mouth.
No moisture in my throat.
I have no courage in my belly,
Waiting to be the propellant for
What needs saying.
Here she comes, the whom, the object,
close enough now I can hear her breathing,
Labored from her quarter-mile climb
Up the tree-lined hill.
She stops at the park’s entrance.
I’m standing there, talking to Theo,
A gorgeous man
Who looks like a John Everett Millais painting.
Again I try to swallow. She turns to me.
Steven, she says, and smiles.
Deep within my throat is that arid, fruitless,
Empty cavern from where
Only monosyllabic, moth-eaten words
Crawl out, desperately wishing to be brought
To life, tickling the ear drums of a
Curious, passionate, full-of-life gal.
I long to hold her attention,
Even if only for a moment,
But who am I to be given
That which I crave?

©2016 Steven Barto

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