"Corduroy" by Nick Wort

The stripes on your shirt

clash with your eyes. It looks stupid


and I need you to know that —

please leave me alone.


Your fingers, caked in grease

trail down my pant legs


I am concerned. About the finger situation 

—Yes, but also the way


your shirt buttons all the way up to the base

of your chin. It looks like you can’t breathe


Would you like it better that way?

Am I allowed to ask you that?