Each morning
as he wakes up
he breathes the knots
out of his back and
wonders how his body aged
40 years over night.
He has a way of finding
deep tragic humor
in counting the places
his body holds aches
each morning. In fact
he finds a wealth
of humor in
all his deep tragedies
How to else to escape those
unexplained imperfections
than to laugh? It’s
the unexplained
that scares him most
The small constellation
of circular scars on
his arms that he
remembers dreaming
but can still find with
his fingers and eyes
closed. If not by
smiling to them
so hard
his cheeks press his
eyes tight
how else to avoid
counting them and
confirming there are more?
He will tell you
if you press this issue
that it is a pity
to pity oneself.
He has yet to be told
it is equally pitiful
to ignore
one’s own mortality.
He’ll tell you
if death were
a real person
like in stories
he would like to smoke
a cigarette with death
It’s clear
he doesn’t get the irony yet.
He is
like smoke, and claims
all people are.
Beautiful
because he is transitory;
changing shape for the
duration of he existence
and riding the wind into
non-being. He
loves the ride.
By the time he lies down
at night, he will have shed
the weight of age that wakes him
and feel helpless as if
new born. He fears this
more than waking up forty
years older than he should be.
And when he washes the dishes
he whistles and wishes
to sleep easy that night
but never does.

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