282/365: The Softer Sink
We apologize for getting older.
We press our palms against softer middles.
I tell him jowls run in my family,
that my arms will grow softer and large.
He tells me men in his family die 30 years before
the women do in mine.
I tell him our hearts aren't so shit hot.
I love the softer sink of my thumbs into his skin,
the creases that edge his eyes.
I used to wonder about this,
how it would be to live in bodies
whose aging we looked on as betrayals.
I’ve stopped clinging,
believing I could dream it real forever,
like when we once believed that we made our bodies,
that we decided our bodies,
a ham-fisted simplification that shames change.
No one ever really believes that they’ll be seventy.
I have watched these thighs once lithe and downy,
later dimpled and fluid,
breasts late and heavy,
feet stretched and bent,
pushed against thousands of miles.
His body presses this one,
his fingers trace this one,
he binds his body’s future to mine.
It’s a physical fealty,
this produced metaphor.
We perform love in the flesh.
We walk these bodies together
to circumscribe our promises.
And yet we submit these apologies,
as though this progressively transparent impermanence
were a betrayal of hearts that beat hot and hard.
We walk this linear arch with a strict faith,
even as it threatens us
with the softer sink.
I am writing one poem every day in 2016, and I am using the hashtag #365poems to document my progress.