Worldly Knowledge

At 12, I wanted to know the world;
at 22, I wanted to change it;

at 32, I wanted to own it; but now,
at 42, I find that I want to know it again,

in intimate detail, the way a mother knows her child
and a wise old rabbi knows the Torah,

the way farmers like Corey Law know the earth
and pastors like Eric Dyck know their flock,

the way Joel Peters knows his organ music
and a shopkeeper knows his shop,

the way Horst Hutter knows his Nietzsche
and Meredith Evans knows her Shakespeare,

the way my mother knows The River
and my wife knows The Garden,

the way Darwin knew his finches
and Galileo knew the stars,

the way a man in love
knows the constellation of freckles

on his lover’s inner thigh,
and knows it so well,

that he can sketch it from memory,
onto a napkin at Else’s,

when she’s a thousand miles away.

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)

photo credit: Danielle Faribault

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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