22 (seated at her table)
To a woman like that, I'm nobody. / But this other woman says that's not true. / The first is Harvard, summa cum laude. / The second is Vassar, professor's delight. / It used to be a real victory, / to get myself adopted by the first, / to get myself admired by the second. / Now it's something else, something more like thirst. / Despite themselves, they laugh like I'm funny, / like my urban blight is a city of light, / like one day I won't dry up in the draught, / and I'm still a dirty, charming youth, / knowing the alleys of the hymnody. / It's not what we want now, but we're still stunned, / and we turned, she and I, to what beckoned.