I’d love to tell my friends I’m dating Mark Twain.
They’d admire my high-tech ingenuity
when I tell them I met him online.
A Silicon Valley dude clones history’s
most dateable men for discriminating women.
I pressed the app for Sam Clemens,
sent him my resume, bio, and photos,
cropped and artfully recreating me at thirty-nine.
He must have liked what he saw on his iPhone
because he texted me in his original handwriting
(worth a mil)
and suggested we rendezvous not in what
I expected, a replica of a riverboat at Disneyland.
No, he suggested a bar in a downtown hotel
where he could smoke a cigar.
It smelled of old wood and leather, whiskey, and
Cuban tobacco. So did he.
I needed to know whether to call him Sam or Mark
or Mr. Clemens.
“All the same to me,” he said, munching on some
nuts with salt that sprinkled on his wrinkled white
suit and moustache.
I sipped my julep and waited for him to reminisce
about Tom, Huck, and jumping frogs at Calaveras.
But all he wanted to talk about was his dead wife.
Like any other widower I’d met in present life.
I waited for him to make me giggle and blush
and even put the hand that held his famous pen
upon my knee
but all he seemed to want from me
was the same as most other elderly gents I know,
admiration and sympathy.
Lila Lee Silvern