Mutual Intervention

she kept a therapist’s sofa in her living room
backed by a dark oaken bookcase
mantled with a spill of white orchids
sizing me like sentient vaginas

invited in for tea
during the turbulent 20th century
I think because I paused
not too evaluatingly
as she interminably pondered a flower
just outside the porticoed foyer
legs as native to the soil as two trees
myself swayed by such matters
though not quite as undistracted

some grace helped me linger
what you’d deem too long a moment
in silent solidarity or holy acceptance
me and the crazy woman
who’d taken up unbidden
for old Joe the sickened gardener

not old not young but wise and woman
her stature with no pretense clued me in
she was far stouter than the blather
of those gossip-eyed girls
going and coming in swift trite purpose
and immune to their thinkless disparagings

then a sphere of human kinship
quite invisible to the worldly
included me in its warming expanse
and she began remarking aloud
her diagnoses for each cultivar
as they clarified in her opened mind

I kept a quiet dignity
declining to add a verbal flourish
so in my listening she knew
how I recognized and ate her gift
and I recognized too
how her awareness
encompassed the way I espied
the black vigorous tuft
of calling womanhair
alluring out her shoulderless sleeve

it was a blend I cannot quite name
though my tongue knew certainly
of it’s individual components
from some cell memories
of a long dimmed decade
but one of her own artful concocting
to weave a swoon of a summer’s afternoon
ensuring that this one time
and that one time only
I saw also and guileless tasted
her more wonderful dark tuft

by whose contriving it befell
our mortal surveillance fails to grasp
but one year later we two passed
a windy sidewalk of urgent missions
in a different dull brown town
and she glanced up from out her cloud
at just the instant we passed shoulders
taking me in with her seeing ken
reading my vitals in her private language
exactly as though I was one more cultivar
and she bid me listen better to my spirit
for decisions soon would demand it
then her cloud billowed off to her chore
and I, bestirred, on off to mine

she kept a therapist’s sofa in her living room
just in case

_______RS

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