You lumbered into the yard one day, with a lazy sway
of your clock-pendulum tail, your great ruffled ears the shape
of the continent of Africa, idly fanning the summer air,
flicking off the ticklish feet of butterflies.
I noticed your crepey knees, and flesh sagging under the weight
of my life filled almost to capacity.

Ah Age, insidious beast, you’ve entered the house to stay.
Now that I can’t ignore you, I should give you a room of your own,
mat the floor with hay, offer you a bowl of peanuts, coax you
to place that boulder rump more into the corner,
until I learn to trust your presence, and those slick tusks
the color of moonlight, my forklift to heaven.

But not this room, where I sleep with one who doesn’t see you.
Just a state of mind, he says. I hold his hand fiercely,
against the look of your amber eye, that ever-glowing ember
sunk in skin like ancient folds of molten lava. The searing eye
that watches me by day and by night as close as vapors
from the jungle of fear. Or as far away as my diamond-clad
contentments can push you