i like the hat

brim bent in a dadly parabola
band crusted with the sediment of
a thousand rounds with the sun
front panels emblazoned with
an inside joke, sewn in white,
set in an unassuming sans serif
elastic crown compressing
the hair shielding my nape
into the shape of a cello's crook
I squint at the fuzzy lump in the mirror
"this cap makes me
look like a dumbass"
a head pops in through the threshold
"I dunno, I kinda like it"
"but I look like a yokel"
"listen, I grew up in the sticks,
that's just...
what those hats do to a boy's hair"
and those last words hang
with the weight of the formative,
the felt but unthunk,
of the first amorous stirs
when a hand brushes a hand or
an elbow brushes an elbow
on the shared arm rest
of the air-conditioned theatre
during an early evening showing
of The 13th Warrior
that you snuck into together
after buying tickets for
Muppets from Space
you don't remember if the movie
was any good, but you
remember the electricity,
the instant bond between
a couple of master thieves,
the levity in your guts,
that first ginger step on the gas
that jerks you into
the back of the seat,
that tan service station ballcap
with the faux-leather strap
across the closure,
and twenty years later you proclaim
"so yeah I like the hat"

and so I kept on the hat