If I had a master, a most unlikely
fate, someone to pose my questions
to, someone to sort my laziness from
thoughts of hate and blow them off like
milkweed fluff to prove their weight,
I guess he’d be something like you.

If I had a lover with eyes like cocoa
butter, someone to share my bed and
put the coffee on, who understands when
family news arrives for good or ill, who knows
just when and where to touch, and why,
I wonder if he’d be something like you.

If I had a friend whose screen door’s
never locked to me, who keeps my
deepest secrets and reads poetry
to financiers, applauds when each of us
succeeds beyond wildest imaginings,
I’m sure he’d be something like you.

If I had another chance at life, to do
again what I have done, differently or
better, to dazzle with my energies and talent
without fear of consequence, of loss or apathy,
I’d pause just long enough to think about
my master, lover, friend, then, smiling,
take your hand and say, I’m here.


© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Photograph by author