Old Age


It doesn’t mean the great fire of love
as Jack Gilbert calls it
blinds you any less. You only see

the book from the chapters.
Identify the lies you wrote
to yourself in the diary

in the drawer. Every woman
a goddess of something.
Every harvest of kisses bountiful

until it isn’t. Count the times
you’ve fallen in love by your fingers,
then by your toes. Chart it

in a board meeting of past selves
in the most strategic hiding place
of your heart. Maybe

the back of a notebook.
Read through every poem.
Every renaissance

for every girl who touched you
the right way.
Fill in the ledgers of the past.

But don’t forget the great fire.
Let it consume everything.
And get out alive again.

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