who
better understands
than the child
or spouse
of a writer

the way someone can exist
in a state of absence
yet be seated in the next room

perhaps if i worked downtown
left everyday in a nursing uniform
or struck out at 3 a.m.
in my old mortician’s black suit

my vocation
wouldn’t seem so intrusive

i should install a barber’s pole
outside my office door
wear a leather apron
scream show tunes
and keep jars of leeches