"Embrace" is the second song of Tom Cipullo's song cycle Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House. The song cycle sets six poems of Billy Collins.

by Tom Cipullo

You know the parlor trick.
wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you
her hands grasping your shirt
her fingernails teasing your neck
from the front it is another story
you never looked so alone
your crossed elbows and screwy grin
you could be waiting for a tailor
to fit you with a straight jacket
one that would hold you really tight.

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