If I wanted you, could I have you?

You said to me in my head.

Is that a question of capacity

or permission? a small voice said.

The answer in either case

is probably not. You clapped then.

As if I had said something clever.

It was a pleasure speaking with you

as if you were the kind audience

I had always wanted: so perfectly

attentive, generous, and absent.

[Also published in Feathertale, 2016.]