9 p.m., Sept. 28
old age does not happen slowly
- Old age does not happen slowly
- but all at once, in the head. The body takes its time
- getting there, but the mind, clinging to youth
- flashes suddenly — behaving as if it were still
- careless! — flashes on sagging skin, discolored hair.
- If you’re a woman you probably cry.
- Your face is set in sour lines about the mouth
- at the corners, and you’ve an ailment that’s killing you.
- The ailment is Time.
- If you’re a man you joke about not getting it up
- so often but doing it long and slow and women like it
- better that way haha and you talk about the good old days
- of football and war.
- But if you’re gay you’re dead.
- Nobody wants you, old friends think you’re pathetic
- and leave you alone with brief visits.
- You eye the beauties like some leftover dinosaur
- hovering in silence, terrified
- of those hard men you used to have.
- For if they go with you now it may be your funeral.
More from SDReader
- Three poems by Mark Jarman — Feb. 24, 2016
- At the End of Spring — April 29, 2015
- Love Poem to My Husband of Thirty-One Years — Dec. 5, 2012
- Mr. Flood’s Party — Nov. 30, 2011
- 1991: You’re Gay, You Drive, You get Special Handling — Oct. 5, 2011