I have a friend—call him Tyler—whose girlfriend wore
him like a handbag she found at a thrift store.
Good enough. She could make it work
with her outfit, for now. With one man
on her arm and a few others carrying her train,
lapping up whatever scraps she tossed their way,
she might have just enough to believe she deserved love.

Every time Tyler voiced a wayward thought—
whether on the subject of fashion, theology, their future,
or her pants—she'd swat his head and smile sweetly
and say something like, "Tyler! That's not what we're about!"
He'd be half-joking, of course, as would she. Half.

I tell Tyler to stay the hell away from her.
My friends are not accessories. But then he tells me
about the rare moments, mostly in the dark, slightly
naked, when a pinprick of a pore opened
between them, and holding her close, he swore
he could hear the echoing replies of a child,
ashamed, terrified, alone, and maybe,
maybe even capable of love.
In any case, he's a believer.

Catching a lock of hair from a princess trapped in a tower
doesn't foretell a kiss. Not in this world. But it's just enough
to believe in the possibility. Enough for a half-crazed man to hurl himself
at his beloved's dragons—a Knight in Zero Armor, bare-ass naked,
snarling and almost giggling. It's the call to lunatic adventure.
Tyler may be an idiot, but when he puts it that way,
I know exactly what he means.