after you left the reading a woman 
turned back to us
(by chance I was standing closest) 
& accused you of stealing
the coat—she’d had the same, disappeared once

it came from a boutique in Roncesvalles
little known
(few could afford to)
her favourite,
beloved statement she’d thrown
on a bed and forgotten about 
& that night in Kensington
it had returned on the wing of the thief
(or so she thought)

your innocence could not enter her
convinced no poet (or friend of one)
could afford it—now it walked out again
& I was stuck explaining
that it had never come

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