Evanston fountain

    When the homeless man said we should get married
    we didn’t think to laugh
    at the absurdity
    He offered you his ring first
    then turned to me
    at your refusal
    I told him he should keep it
    You joked later about its chances at a pawnshop
    I said you were too mean to marry
    and then we talked about med school
    and Ireland
    and ignored the money in your wallet
    that you could have given to the man
    who declared us “a beautiful couple”
    worth his dime store pinky ring
    a snake of plastic
    that in his alternate universe
    was meant to bind us together
    for our respective conceptions of eternity
    In this nebulous land of urban suburbia
    the potential awkwardness of similar confrontations
    with beggars who tell me I’m beautiful
    lingers on the streets,
    admissions catalogue pretty
    A short walk north
    we said goodbye in our own awkward way
    on our now safely suburban corner
    I made a lame joke about your survival
    in my absence at the back of your head
    it lost all humor on repetition
    but you smiled kindly anyway


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