Stood up for lunch, I
visit the deli anyway, order,
and wait outside. The sun
is hot on my arms. I roll up my sleeves.
I love to tan, freckles
stippling the backs of my hands,
forearms, wrists. Hairs brightening.
The waiter brings my sandwich:
braunschweiger, mustard, pickle.
I love this meal; am not ashamed
of my heritage. I close my eyes
and sip ice water; the sun
glints off the surface,
dazzling through eyelids.
The water feels good in my throat.
The woman at the next table
wrestles with her newspaper,
but I do not look. I do not care.
I am isolated from everyone and everything.
I feel my self collapsing
upon itself, and I am not displeased.
I do not need others to feel loved.
I do not need God to feel loved.
I love myself, and the beauty
of knowing it makes me shiver.
I love myself, not like Narcissus
who could not love others.
I think of my children,
whom I love without effort.
I love my parents the same way.
And God, should He exist.
And if, by chance, He does not
love me, that is
His loss, not mine.
I can tell a pretty good joke