The Babysitter

Years later, I ride my bike past his house

and he’s washing his car in the driveway,
the garden hose coiled at his feet, suds running up his arms.

(Is his shirt off, or do I imagine that later,
in the shower?) I’m surprised at how handsome he is.

I’m eleven now, which must make him
twenty-one, old enough to buy a girl a drink when he wants,

which I imagine is often. When I’m twenty-one
I won’t remember the make of the car, the color, or how long

I pause my pedaling to watch him—only his
belt buckle, its silver tongue,

his hands. All ten of his fingers.

Jameson Fitzpatrick is an editorial assistant at Barrow Street magazine and a poetry editor for He lives in New York.