I watch her in that crosswalk every day,
Her stride, the way she swings her hair.
Her strong eyes track up this way
And challenge. She surprises me in class.
Now, I contemplate, I do,
The romance that would display
The qualities of a rare isotope:
Unstable, dangerous, luminous as radium.
My father’s voice reminds me of my age:
Twice hers. Simply twice hers. Ok, dad.
And I am weak when I think of the energy
Needs of such experiments,
Magnetic fields required for containment,
For safety. She’s skipped across, a cascade
Of a million motions in a golden fall.
I was reading in Scientific American
That men till forty, married or not,
Think of sex every five seconds.
After that it falls
All the way to fifteen. Thanks,
Was all I could think.
I had thought to get some work done soon.
This year or the year after. To grow up.
To somehow kind of get clear.
Franz K. Baskett is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arkansas and an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in the Southern Review, the Pacific Review, the Grey Sparrow Journal, and elsewhere. His book, The Accident Prone Man, was published in 1994 by Orchises Press.