Now I’m seeing you, Old Man,

From the inside out, and I think I know

You better today, finally recognize

Your silence, your sentence, your view

From that over-stuffed chair

Where you stared back at me looking

For who you were. Still, I try to read your lips

On my mouth in the mirror, the eyebrows

And grin, mugging those tired eyes,

Your baggage, the bitter loneliness you

Couldn’t hide tumbling across the tournament

Of lies. Occasionally we’re awed by beauty

Passing by our observation posts. Wry

Patience is learned in waiting rooms.

We haul this hollow business, our husks

Of bony air, those weathered chrysalises

Decaying, into the storm. Don’t they call it joy?

Rebirth? This transformation to dust?

Their version of “love” you called a crusade,

A bloody sideshow of lust—and your cynicism

They were quick to call selfishness—

An excuse to drink, escape the labors of the lost,

Practice avoiding your duty, their job.

And their cure for you and your ilk, promised

New life, a key to your prison cell and guaranteed

A position in Clown-Hall. Scoffing at those

Gatekeepers of Hell, you knew they could hide

But never deny death row. And the meaning

You strove to find gave way to gray hair

And repeated lines till finally you put

The books aside, sat down and waited

For the change. After fifty-some years

Of murder, tears, hypocrisy and pain, you

Just quit—booze, reading, or ranting about it—

You clammed-up—there wasn’t much to say.

So now when I see you in me and know

I’m running out of words to spew—losing

Interest in my witty ways to grab attention—

I wonder who is who, you in me, maybe

Me in you. This spark we carry forward,

This flicker in the flames, flare and ember,

Spirit or DNA, burning and dying—

We disappear and appear again

To give in—this losing is what we do.

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