How to Bow

Those long black streaks are gone,
replaced by ivy-green smears
from top to bottom,
as time drains the virility from everything.

The squinting faces have moved on
from pictures you flipped through
Sunday mornings
at the table, in the way you moved

Those old men have bowed their last,
taken themselves and their wrinkled faces
off the face of the earth
beyond the sharpness of leaning forward,

laughing and grinning while biting down
on cigarette or liquorice stick.
The strength drained from their movements,
to only hint at a basic virility,

to imagine them twisted up
entangled in the bare escape of
necessary sex
free from the leash of love,

to wonder where the light retires
in age and beauty still too real.
The feelings of being alive
decide themselves how to bow.

Out of Focus Black and White film photo, Yashica Minister III

Out of Focus Black and White film photo, Yashica Minister III

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