Before the normal barriers
get erected, and silence
takes on a texture,
and our secrets grow
like mold in a basement,
I want you to know I believe
in the kind of transparency
that gets me what I want.
Why would I tell you this?
Because women like you
find even a semblance of honesty
irresistible. I will listen with what
appears to be intense interest
to everything you say.
I’ll look into your eyes
as if they contained mysteries,
something vaguely coral
and deep. I’m the kind of man
who will not touch you
without permission, ostensibly
considerate, terribly polite
in public. At some point
you’ll take my hand and place it
where it will feel especially invited.
Or you won’t. It doesn’t matter;
what I love are the preliminaries,
the seeing what, the great if.
Your wise friends are likely to warn
you about me. But you won’t listen
because you’ll recognize I’m the mask
behind the face, as close to the truth
as you’re likely to get.
And I’ll have opened my good ear
to you. I trust that you’ll think it —
like the ones before you have —
as a passageway to the heart.