In the middle of deadlines and aching feet, new books and milk tea named African Sunrise.
When you fall in love,
you jockey your horse
into the flaming barn.
You hire a cabin
on the shiny Titanic.
You tease the black bear.
Reading the Monitor,
you scan the obituaries
looking for your name.
Dear T: you fool, you hopeless, lovely fool. We’re finally here.
To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond’s edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.