Ode to the Romance of the Thief

by Paula Cisewski

But if he was hungry the thief
or his children were

hungry who said
he has children

better if he has the thief
stealing the taste from your supper

with his lean disdain
like a crow the thief

liberating us from a bit of
our excess the thief

so intimately slides
his hand in your dark pocket the thief

grows a beard for a portable hideout
the thief is eternally strolling away

his getaway the thief ’s will it end
clumsily a mistake a pearl

brooch for his mother’s birthday
who said he has a mother

better if
the thief

retreats into night
close your curtains

there’s a raccoon
in the alley the thief

looks right through you to
your most treasured object the thief

is loyal to his private country
we assume

who said he has
a privacy the thief

that didn’t belong to
someone else first