on aging

I fear for my memories of the indian ocean,
drying and curling at the edges
like the yellowed pages of my favorite book.

i fear the helpless sag of the skin around my smile,

and, with something to lose,

i lie awake marinading in terror
over mental atrocities like
what to do to accept your mother’s mortality,
how to watch my skin turn to a worn leather,
and how to hold the icy water of my youth between my palms,
my years dripping inevitably away from me.

will the memorized lines and sunny afternoons and hangovers
will they f a d e
will they blend into a soft prism of pastels,
and albeit lovely to look at it,
will i not remember the drawn edges or ends from middles?

while my skin still springs and
my knees still bend without cracks,
i collect fear like spilled marbles
and hold them under my tongue:
considering all that i can not know

and wondering all the while why
my body is not stooped

under the weight of all my worry.

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