absolutist by Cameron Gorman

i deal in absolutes, only
absolutes as i consider myself
some disciple of man, of some
sun-shiny woman in a panama hat,

of some dusty illini museum
where i bend my neck and stare
at the models of first humans
and their hanging chests —

i deal in certainties,
things contained in basement bargain
book bins, rules to be broken,
the quiet strength of strong binding
withstanding book-store time —

at the rooftop bar, handed
drinks and glasses,
i sling my arm around you and whisper
a question:
don’t you hate it here?
how awful are we?
i drink from your plastic cup of white wine —

i deal in factuals only,
and if you ask me why,
i can pull from my coat pocket
the clamshell coin purse
from which i can draw
a queen’s head card, and i’ll tell you what,
i deal in absolutes, only in
preserved flags and americana,
and a couple of dollars for gas.

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