No Thanks, I’m Married

Everyday I go to work at the library,
Day-to-day our patrons always vary.
Along comes this stranger,
I didn’t sense danger:
But nevertheless, I thought to be wary.

It started out innocently enough:
He asked about my hair and how I got it to fluff.
“I can’t use products; it’s not manly,” he said.
“No one cares what you put on your head,”
I thought it was sad how he tried to be tough.

Obviously struggling with fragile masculinity,
This man is deeply affected by the patriarchy!
Oh no, here he is, man-bun and all,
He asks me my favorite book, so he can stall.
The Things They Carried and Harry Potter,” I answer honestly.

“My favorite is obscure and out of print,” he said with pride.
How unique and original, I thought, feeling tried.
Now I’m on the hook:
He wants to bring me this book!
He walks away, free to leave; I slide down my chair and hide.

The next week he brings it in, all tattered and worn,
Alarms are sounding in my head like a horn.
“I can’t accept this.” Please, go away!
Alas, he sees this as an invitation to stay.
Here he is, prattling on; can’t he see I’m filled with scorn?

Later on, at my desk, he leaves me a note;
Oh god, I think, let’s see what he wrote.
“Let’s go out,” it suggests,
I’m full of protests,
But only anxious breathing exits my throat.

When I see him again, I tell him, “No thanks, I’m married,”
It’s the truth and the easiest way to get it buried.
He says, “it’s a shame,
If it were just a flame,
We might still have a chance!” Now I’m harried.

I wanted to tell him he’d misunderstood:
I wouldn’t go out with you, even if I could!
The ring doesn’t keep us apart,
It’s that you’re a misogynistic fart.
To put another man’s agency above my own, you never should.

Days later he’s still here, he’s still hanging about,
I really hope I don’t have to interact with this lout.
Now my story, it ends,
I hope you’ve learned something friends:
Male privilege, it stinks, without a doubt!

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