A little death or at least no possibility
of birth, it gives up on you the way
your mother did. First it’s there,
regular as breath but less often,
pouring over you like a red skeptic and
you heretical not to celebrate its tides
and hungers, the white folds
of sacramental duties. It comes
like the moon, beggar
you can’t ignore, the home you don’t want
but keep sweeping. Your body
its queendom and you its only servant.
It is not an easy peace. When it’s tardy
there’s the paradox of missing it,
praying at still hours for the bloat
and drain, the mood and queasy pain,
elegant smear you mourn,
imagining instead an eager pupil,
the blink of your secret eye. Today
the eggs stand on their heads. Summer
solstice, and maybe the tides
are up to other elemental tricks.
You have it bad at forty-seven.
For the first time in months something
has jolted that old clock
your veins roar with it, your pulse
lively as mice. The old friend
whose constancy once bored you
turned capricious, almost charming,
back for a visit, maybe the last.