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Iris Litt

I Saw a Guy Who Looks Like You


I saw a guy who looks like you

coming toward the sidewalk café

not unlikely it was you

looked like you and probably

millions of guys in the U.S.A.


he/you had a fringe of white

ringing his baldness

beerbelly tapering to slim hips

blue workshirt and jeans

white running shoes

black canvas briefcase


and I knew if I opened the briefcase 

or the shiny head

it would be filled with


should-haves  could-have-dones  and what-ifs

and other sixty-fivish wonders


and I see the whole movie

and say  no thanks  you can have it  spare me  

never again  never another  stop me if I do.


I lied.

I hope it’s you.

In Mexico

Like these Indians I practice signs, portents and cures.

Ceremonially I sprinkle chia seed on a banana

and lo! Moctezuma’s Revenge shall disappear.

In a grand defensive gesture

I drench our palapa roof

and behold! when the rains come I shall be old, weathered and serene.

In our wild eternally warring state of Guerrero

I swing my hand in an arc like a blessing or a machete

to touch your palm, enter us into a state of peace

search the horizon of your lips for signs of approaching smiles

decreeing that for a century of a moment

sadness shall be far as cities

happiness bright as undiscovered bays.

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