The Anatomy of Nice
There is a nice that seems so nice that I
don't notice as it nudges near, unsheathes
a blade, and smiles, as vampires might apply
a fang. How charmingly the creature breathes,
I think, until it pounces with its need
for nutrients, as sips of storm and stress,
and makes the conversation subtly bleed
into a gushing, garnet-tinted mess.
I have encountered niceness such as this
quite often. Vampires don't exist, but I'm
aware of thirsts to counter loneliness
for I have felt the same from time to time.
Then there's the nice that pulled over the car
at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere.
My map lay sprawled across one handlebar.
They noticed, gave directions—and a beer
from their picnic cooler, still refreshed in ice.
They'd seen me sweating: "You must fortify
yourself," they said, then drove away as I
said Thanks, then, to myself, Now that was nice.
If, in the middle of a long bike ride
you're likewise lost, I won't mean to intrude
when I offer myself as momentary guide.
But will you think of it as nice, or rude?
James B. Nicola
If you have any thoughts on this poem, James B. Nicola would be pleased to hear them.