After the drummers leave Point Fortin,
and the rush of blood, reaching inland to Siparia
subsides, the light obsession with bodies will end,
and the metronomic groans of a retired lover
uncomfortable with the way his skin seems to loosen
near mirrors, will stop.

Mark the hour.

Almost sleeping, he longs to dream,
plays the uneasy part of a survivor
in a broken pair, pausing to listen
like a dog who doesn’t know its master is dead.

They pass, he and his time, without rehearsal.
Near the ashtray, a younger picture
in a shirt he prefers—he against a wall, she against him, a child.
Together still, the grains of their graying grins bind.

Half-forgotten pencils worn down,
worn of their half-digested words,
tired as cynics. Paper.
The dog-eared marks of an unfinished book on the floor.

The oscillating fan blows leeward now,
along the wall, favorable to knotted curtains
that, anchored with a worker woman’s knots,
move slow.

There is nothing to break the monotony of his breath.
Love cools, turns, ends,
then ends.

Mark the hour: a stickman’s life requires no resolution.
Mark it, though age will bring no special understanding
of the argument.

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