Wednesday, June 17, 2009


He was young and beautiful
A sliver quarter of a century
I flirted with his possibilities
When he said age does not matter
For a short time small enough to swallow
I believed
Because I am growing older
Where we place youth at the apex of existence
And he came packed in stacks of rigid competence
A glossy veneer stroked across his skin
He folded virility into the contours
Of our verbal banter

But I am old enough
To be wrong
Too old for absolutes
I traffic in ambiguity
Even when I look through a spyglass built to see futures

Somewhere in time I shed my prophetic flesh
Found an older face
Grown closer to the ground
My hands have grown porous
The sands are slipping faster
My soothsaying is less reliable

And he is still young enough for certainty
He holds life in unyielding fingers
Utters convictions with the assurance of an oracle
He must proselytize to his own choir
Even when he is alone

And he is too old to live with magic
While I am too old to live without it
Where he is dropping anchors to tie him to predictable
I am snapping cables binding me
Because few things I predicted have come to fruition
Or my future interpretations where so misshapen
I might have been looking at the wrong vision
Whereas he knows
He’s got it all figured out
He reminds me of the young boy he was
Only a few years ago
But with his arms folded across his chest
He is not asking questions to hear answers
He sees gravity as his ally
No longer an adversary
Keeping him from flying with stars

Expectation is his collaborator drawing his preferred path in a straight line
Through a crease in his hand
He wants to draw the same line in the palm of another
He is a fortuneteller trying to scribe a treasure map
Defining contours and ridges between my thumb and the tip of my little finger
His divined cartography denies the unexpected

His key is written in a dead language
I can’t read his directions

His beauty sits on surfaces unmarked
Flesh still plump with the sap of spring
Face untouched by the topography of living
When I look at him I cannot find his atlas to study
There is no road map here

But in this world where facial paralysis is preferred to time line sketches
Where death is an acceptable risk for a plastic rendition of adolescence
I am getting older
Watching writing scrawled along my own face
I can number the times in lines surprise grief laughter and rage
Have crossed the corners of my expression

And I remind myself there is beauty in the beginning
But those I’ve known who are the most exquisite
Wear life’s chronicle tracks mapped across their face
They did not shy from living

This is my covenant with time
Mark me well
Cover me with carvings
So anyone at a glance will guess
I have a story
It is worth telling
So come to me when you have worn rivulets of existence on your flesh
I will ask you questions
Please will you give me your stories

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