Ed read his first draft back to me:
She was one of those girls
they write moisturizer ads about.
She looked quenched.
Some people are smart, some are athletic,
and some people can hang spoons off their noses.
She didn't look thirsty.
Ed, I said,
This is supposed to be a love poem.
You can't say "She didn't look thirsty."
That's a collection of negative words.
But she looks really damp all the time, Ed said.
Not sweaty, you know, but moist,
in that hot kind of way.
And you're using the past tense, Ed, I said.
The present tense is better for winning over lovers.
She wants to know that she looks quenched now, in the present.
How'd you get so smart about what's sexy? Ed asked.
Well, I'm pretty sexy, Ed, I said.
I've had a lot of practice.