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No man who has loved me
should think of me in the bathtub
without fearing electrocution.

No man who has screamed my name
should call a buy order in
to his stockbroker.

No man who remembers pulling my hair
should ride a roller coaster
next to a stranger.

I will laugh the first time
you see me naked.  I will step
on your toes to get closer.

I will make love to you
in funny socks. I will leave you
all of the purple jelly beans.

I am not a flame but the candle
dripping wax. I am not a sad note
but the hammer that hits it.

Love dobermans instead,
or crossword puzzles.
Find a wife who lets you lie

in her bed with the real
estate section.  Search for
a townhouse with a spiral staircase.

And if I appear there one morning like Jesus
on the toast of a believer,
it is nothing a butter knife won't fix.


Amy David moonlights as a Chicago poet and performer.  She is a director of Chicago Slam Works, an
organization dedicated to uniting poets and audiences for the promotion of the oral tradition.

 





The inspiration for this poem comes from a poem called "Before the Last Dance", by Ryka Aoki de la Cruz, in which she talks about her old lovers and it led me to think about what my old boyfriends would be doing right now. One had a love of roller coasters; another couldn't go five minutes without checking the stock market.
 
The second stanza was the one that gave me the most trouble, and I tinkered with it many times.  I actually looked up "AMY" as a stock ticker symbol, and it turns out to be no longer listed on the NYSE, but if you bought it a few years ago, you'd own some commercial property down in Houston.
 
The ending came to me a few days before the rest of the poem.  I saw a news article about someone who found a Jesus-shaped Cheeto and named it Cheesus, and it struck me that there was a certain sadness in seeing things as they aren't; in someone meaning so much to you that they appear places in your life where they shouldn't.
 
When I first shared it with other poets, I was surprised at how funny they found it.  I intended it to have a humorous tone, but I did not expect anyone to laugh out loud.   

  



  


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