Mary Oliver told me I do not have to be good by Catherine Titus

Mary Oliver told me I do not have to be good
Catherine Titus

So I leave the windows open.
Let the rain seep to the floor
As a late-night treat for my dog.
The line of half drunk
Coffee cups leave rings
On the mantle that I’ll clean eventually
But keep to represent the part of me
that cares. When I’m not good,
I smoke a cigarette on the porch, but only
When it’s cold outside because that feels
More real to me.
The dagger tattooed into
My hip is a declaration,
But one I would never let my mother see.
I like the mystery
Of a stranger more than my real
Friends and will probably never be attracted
To a man even slightly younger than myself. Since goodness
Is measured by others and not ourselves, I smile
At the stranger crossing the street. Hold the elevator door,
And question how polluted the world would
Become if our thoughts lost their privacy.


Catherine Titus / Poet / Caffeinated / Bad at Twitter

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