April 16, 2013

Michael S. Glaser

IN THE MEN’S ROOM

For Michael Ellis-Tolaydo

“oh pray that what we want
is worth this running,
pray that what we ‘re running toward
is what we want.”
—Lucille Clifton

I am in the men’s room when I hear him come in,
talking over his shoulder to a student about time

and I call out to say, “always teaching aren’t we?”
and I tell him about my son who called this morning
and the lovely thoughts we shared because
the electricity at his work was out

and then he tells me about how he just called his wife
to tell her what a wonderful time he had Saturday,
simply being with her and talking

and I finish, and he finishes
and I read him a poem that I was reading
about time and about running,
and as we wash our hands
we agree that love is what matters

and then we hug,
right there in the men’s room
before going back
to whatever it was we left
to find each other at this time
in this place for this
unimagined embrace.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004