I wish I had bought you pancakes–
pulled you off the pole in the middle of the dance floor
[and then off that guy nearby],
taken you to the nearest late-night breakfast joint
and given you a love offering covered in syrup.
When you stumbled across the street, I should have
grabbed your wrist, called you Daughter.
Maybe I would have pulled you in to dance
with us–women who dance like the loved.
[But if I gave you a short stack, over coffee
I would tell you that I could be just like you,
with a few more drinks and a few less friends.]
When they turned on the lights to shut us down
to reveal the sticky floor and your mascara streaming,
I wish I had found you, so you could feel found.
I wish I had bought you pancakes, because
that could be your Grace.