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Here we eat baked free range chicken (spicy
red lentil sauce), organic spinach tossed with raw
walnuts, Mexican Pan washed down with Mimosas—
everyone returns for seconds. Here, we bring
guitars, sheet music downloaded free of charge
from the Web, tune the instruments, blend
voices in a livingroom hung in bark masks,
faux Escher, bamboo slats blotting windows.
We sit on yardsale sofas, strumming, thumping
instruments of musical lore hoarded from some
eclectic collegiate collision with art, before we
learned the price. Except for me. I do not thump
or strum. I care only for the baby squirming across
his hygienic pad of primary colors. And as you, my
complaisant lover, contribute to the Big Man’s voice
and his woman’s timid guitar picking, and that man’s
weighty bass and his woman’s interloping vocals,
and the tapping of wooden blocks for rhythm
by the hosts, their smiles the fixated blanks
of fresh parents—as you contribute with your special
drum, I pester the baby with a baby-blue rattle designed
specifically for wormy, graspy fingers and the searching
yawn of his cloud-pink mouth. With her digital camera,
the new mother documents her child toying with his latest
conquest—me—gawky, unmarried blonde sprawling—
shy idiot in love with their son. I am bewitched
by his shrewd detective’s glance—I know you
are not my mother—his tolerance of this. Babies irritate
me—their skinny-balloon limbs, their smell of roses and
shit, the unblinking, feral creature eyes that see, see more
than I have seen in myself for years. But not this baby. This baby
 (named after an Arthurian witch) seizes the post-brunch
room and its cache of amateurs with looks meant for this
sort of thing and he shakes us as randomly as the rattle
I proffer, that he studies, deals with, discards—
he’s flirting, his parents tell me, when I’m the flirt,
worry-wort, baby. I worry our current president is dangerous.
I worry I won’t outlast current affairs. I worry a lot about that.
I worry I’m through with Bob Dylan. I worry your friends think
See how she flies as you thump your dream drum! See
how she flies. I have no idea what is coming,
just that it is time for it to come, now. It's time

for it to come.


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