To a woman I met in the bathroom of a Rogers Park hippie bar

My dirty dishes feed the rabbit
that runs rampant across your floors.
Yet again, you’ve let me string my mobiles
through your children’s Christmas tree
though I always creep out before the sun
turns its leaves.

I feel wrong only coming to you
when I need the inspiration.

I carry your mango in the coat you gave me
beside my keys and corkscrew,
knowing you get what you need from me also:
a perfect manifestation of your romance
with clemency;
the way you will love me
even with the cigarettes I extinguish
in your potted plants, symbolized
by the light you leave in your alley,
the way I will know it before the next time
I strew my things over your wooden floors.

You will clean up the mess I have made
and you put the bunny away,
and in exchange for what, Alice?:
Some pieces of paper I have folded while you slept,
the chance to see yourself  in some book I may write,
the knowledge of the noises my insides make,
the ones you say
sound just like rain.

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