inspecting iris to iris, nose to nose,
sniffing, counting seconds between breaths,
seeing a man’s body return to newborn form,
legs more like arms, pink, hairless.
Think how firmly these feet once held him
upright, thick as granite, inflexible.
Despite the tremors, the many naps,
the many days and nights of murmurings,
he is still handsome in that smart haircut,
the ancient Yaqui bones contain the blight
and he really doesn't complain too much.
He is a man who likes to act like a man.
I stoop down to blow the heat off his face
and in the house somewhere I hear Out of Africa
on the radio, his favorite soundtrack, and my whole
being feels decades drift away like clouds
over the sharp edge of ancient white plains,
the stark flatness of our fate,
wide and bright to the end.