by Rhoda Hassmann
Ontario, Canada

Leaves flaunt red, russet, gold.
Scarlet bushes strut their stuff.
Brownstones shrug in the sun.

We walk along Newbury Street, checking out
future Christmas gifts, I learn your taste:
angled sculptures, porcelain whites, a leather chair

On the Common, among the profligate trees
I watch you watching every man
every man walking arm-in-arm
with another, every couple, two men
with their baby

You watch every tiny sign
of that freedom you can't enjoy
your fear
masking your own desires

for wanton scarlets and passionate golds


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