one righteous integer of cool

From the Sidelines
Rita Dove

It seems I have always sat here watching men like you —
who turn heads, whose gaze is always either a kiss
or a slap or the whiplash of pure disregard. Why fret? All
you’re doing is walking. You’re this year’s It, the
one righteous integer of cool cruising down a great-lipped
channel of hushed adoration, women turned girls
again, brightening in spite of themselves. That
brave, wilting smile — you don’t see it, do you?
How she tells herself to move on; blinks until she can.


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