The One I Crave

I crave interaction.
I want it, desperately,
but it requires
conversation. This
is my dilemma, my
handicap: no words.
It’s like when my
throat is so parched
I can’t swallow,
think, or speak.
I know what I want
to say, and I know
to whom I want to say it.
But there’s no lubrication
in my mouth. No moisture
in my throat. No courage
in my belly; the very
propellant for
What needs saying.

Here she comes,
the whom, the
object, close
enough I can hear
her labored breathing from
her quarter-mile climb
up the tree-lined hill.
She stops at the
park’s entrance. I’m
standing there,
talking to Theo, a gorgeous
man who looks like a
John Everett Millais painting.

She stops in front
of me and turns.
Steven, she says,
and she smiles.
Deep in my throat
is an arid, fruitless,
empty cavern from where
Only monosyllabic,
moth-eaten words
crawl out, hoping to be
brought to life, tickling
the eardrums of this
curious, passionate,
full-of-life gal I long
to hold.  Even
for a moment,
but she walks on and
I think Who am I
to be given
that which I crave?

©2023 Steven Barto

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