ragged tooth unsullied by the dawn.
Full, you went to bed on time;
a quarter empty & you never act your age.
Hasp with no padlock,
no wonder the night got away!
Old flat tire.
As if my poet’s O were set in gothic.
* * *
Note on the series
I’d been aware that a few of the poems I’ve written this spring and summer seem thematically connected, and was thinking that when I had accumulated a half dozen or so, I should put them into a new series called something like “mid-life crisis poems.” Not that I’m having a true crisis, but the unifying theme of these poems seemed to be a pervasive anxiety about aging and the body. Imagine my surprise when, after finishing the above poem this morning, I went through the archive and discovered I’d written 16 poems that fit the theme since May! It’s already almost the length of a chapbook.
So I guess my middle-agedness has been more on my mind than I realized. But as Charles Simic once told an interviewer (I’m paraphrasing from memory), one of the distinguishing features of the poetic mindset is a continual astonishment at the passage of time.