I’ve stopped buying flowers.
Everything droops, breasts, skin.
Lucca, 92, bent to the waist,
rides a stationary bike, greets me.
“Ah, Paulina!” How many years
do I have? I stop the treadmill,
greet him, “Bonjourno!”
I hop back on, watching calories burn.
Later, the dermatologist describes
a facelift. It made her gag—
in her training, the depth
of cutting she observed.
Who wants to be in lockdown
for weeks? I guess I’ll droop
like a flower. What about bouquets
opening? My heart wants
to open like a rose,
like the one I saw
in the market for $3.50,
open to the wide expanse
of the world. Not to be afraid,
my shadows leaving traces
of the days, knowing
there’s not much time to play.
My autumn’s come
and I’m afraid. Time’s
passing. It neither flies
nor stays. What to hold to?
Whom to hold onto?
What gateway must I pass?
Who will guide me through
the Book of the Dead?
Will my heart be lighter
than a feather? A different scale
from my bathroom scale
where I weigh each day.
My heavy heart wants
laughter, love, peaceful heads
on a pillow. Who will serve me
in the afterworld,
and here, today?