I’m staring at the head of a stranger,
some guy in line for coffee in front of me,
young, maybe in college,
the swirl of his hair a perfect galaxy unfolding,
a vortex that draws me in
smitten like a mother, lost in the rapture of
that precise tint and curl and pattern,
a wheel set in motion
when his father’s starting-gun explosion
sent the winning helix through the gate,
the resulting head that crowned, wet and conical,
in the canyon of his mother’s thighs
ejected from its sack of dreams.
Through this rose window I gaze
standing in a hallowed place until
he turns from the counter leaning into his day
and I must look down,
pretend to count my change,
do what I can
not to weep.

            --The Spoon River Poetry Review, Winter/Spring 2009