a man’s face appears
on the raw boards
of the bedroom floor
in the place
where my bare feet
lift the paint

(the floor may be boho and quaint
but hard wearing it aint)

his goatee beard
is neatly squared
at the tip
and on his lips
a fulsome tash
kippered in the smoke from his calabash

an academic, I’d guess
a hip professor
in a handknit, roll neck sweater
because his chambers
are old and poorly heated
and the damp’s rampant and untreated
and he’s gaunt as a goose
and his corduroy pants are loose
and he spends his stipend
on books and pens
and lives on the granola his students send
the sweetly scratchy gravel
he distractedly shovels
with the Miffy spoon
he found, back of the drawer
left by the post grads who lived there before

and he dreams of Sicily
and yearns for adventure
and the outside possibility
they’ll grant him tenure

don’t bank on it, honey
academia’s crap
and anyway
as soon as we’ve got the money
the carpet’s going back

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