I sit here waiting for a question that never comes,
As I’ve waited a hundred times before.
You came to me youngish, clumsy, amusing;
You’ve aged before me; the amusement’s grown old,
but the clumsiness remains.
What is it exactly that’s wrong with you?
You are articulate and literate;
I’m always impressed at the breadth of your reading;
You quote me Shakespeare and Donne,
long passages from memory;
You’ve spoken of love before, brought real tears
to my eyes;
And yet when it comes to us, you falter, stumble,
grow listless and dumb
Excuse yourself, clear your throat, stir your coffee
and drink with a gulp.
I once thought you cute in your awkwardness,
Lately you’ve become ridiculous in my eyes.
What a pathetic man you are, Prufrock.
You hide from me, from me and reality
Pretending to ponder grandiose abstractions
Asking universal, meaningless questions.
It all comes down to this:
Show me you are a man. That there is
a spine in that hunching back;
that you can do more than quote gads of poetry;
that you too can create poetry;
that you can love in all its dangerous implications;
that you are not afraid to die for love.
I am no mermaid singing on the beach.
I am a woman of flesh and blood
who wants to be loved by a man.
I am reality and I’ve come calling.
This is your moment, Prufrock.This is what all you life has come down to.
Wake up and grasp me
or drown in your inanity; your worthless
pointless, all too meaningless, life.