july 3, 1971
wee hours
let’s rewind the tape
to a bathtub
in paris
with a girl
on a couch
passed out
in the next room
a pinch of powder
on a mirror left over
from last night
suddenly the girl wakes up
“jim?” “jim?”
but there’s nobody
in the tub
(he was always
afraid of water)
then she remembers
the note
“dearest pamela:
i’ve arranged everything.
just tell them i tried
to swim to the moon
and drowned. i’ll see
you at the bazaar
in kashmir in ten days.
no, jim was never
in that tub.
just like you, the reader,
are not reading this poem.
i have not sent it, and even
the computer has a case
of mistaken identity.
c’mon and roam with me
thru a field of flowers
under a lotus sun
we’ll think up our next
game of let’s pretend
on the other side of morning.

knock on the door
and the girl wakes up
shuffles to a drawer
for a wad of bills
two men
coroner and physician
she gives them the money
and they leave

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