On tipsy toes with lucid breath
my eyes caress anemic flesh.
“We have to leave today”, you say
and as I bend my head to nod
I see a sag of skin, a wrinkled
purse of lips and liver spots.
Was this the summer or my death
when custom killed my shame
of me and nakedness?
We do not need today,
we crave more night than light
and I have ceased the see
the purpose of a shave.
Fermentation stirs inside
in boil, in rot, a knot.
The summer fades, but we are not
“Have you heard how silent birds
can be”, I say; you answer:
“They are waiting just like us”
and yet the rustled leaf
like any leaf is green.