As I flip through my poems over the previous year

I look for profound thoughts

but what I find

are the obsessions of an adolescent boy.

It might be that there are no profound thoughts.

I write about the dream, like the girl I met in the park, yesterday.

She had long orange legs, and long blonde hair, and sparkling blue eyes.

I said “hi” to her

and she said “hi” back

and then, she had to get into a Prius with her mother.

She was beautiful—probably 21, but not a bond girl—not a woman of fantasy. In fact, a woman rarely, if ever, helps a man to transcend his reality. More often, she holds out her thumb, and the realities show up like a freight train, and the illusion of her beauty wraps around him like a mummy and squeezes the life out of him.

He got what he wanted, but it’s like he’s been tricked into dozens of responsibilities while she hands him a TO DO LIST.

A recently married friend loves to poke me, especially when I’m tired, because I don’t know what to do, and I say the stupidest things under pressure, like I’m backed into a corner, and there’s no way out.

She bobbles her head and jabs again, like a professional fighter.

“Okay man,” I respond.

“What? You think I’m a man?”

“Okay, wo-man.”

I go into the kitchen, terrorized, and her mother is making pizza. “Is she bullying you again?” Her mother asks sweetly, in her apron.

“Yes,” I said.

She calls out from the living room, “I am not.”

Then, I’m in trouble, and she goes in for round two.

James Bond would know how to talk to these women. I am just a boy, pretending to be profound. Perhaps, the best that I can do, is to be the hero of my own story—real or imaginary, and write it down.

At the party, they asked me, “What would you do, if you had a billion dollars?”

“I would buy an island in the tropics. Then, I would write every morning, scuba dive, and play golf in the afternoon.”

“What would you change your name to?”

“James,” I said.

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