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In My Imagination

by James Laughlin

(though I am sixty now) I love
to finger you much as I did the

little girl who lived in the
house next door when I was ten

touching her was a matter of
fervent curiosity to find out

how she was different and to
speculate on what the differ-

ence meant   but touching you
now (in my imagination) is

something else   it is an in-
visible act of pure affection

and my plea for reassurance I
want to be comforted by the

belief that you would want me
to love you if we were together.


James Laughlin’s Collected Poems will be published this fall. (1992)

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