The Invitation

by Gary Percesepe

The poet could not speak of himself

but only of the gradations leading toward

him and away.  ~ Mark Strand



I'm having trouble

coming up with titles

to these new poems,


I told her. That's easy

she said.

Call the first Dr.


And the second?

Reverend, she replied, as

I shot my cuffs,


re-tightened my tie.

And the third and fourth?
I asked.


Your Honor, for the third,

she said, clearly

enjoying this.


I didn't wait for the fourth.

If she were real, I'd never

have invited her to this garden.