They don’t know what to make of all this flesh,
The clear blue eyes, as nature intended.
With no such charm to keep those dark locks fresh
Someday he’ll wade the pool to cool his joints.
Someday he’ll dribble in his oatmeal bowl,
With that bright wonder faded from his lips.
(And Greeks, we know, don’t age well on the whole;
The odds of picturesque old age aren’t great.)
And someday, remembering how he’d writhe
And howl by night, engulfed in Delphic fire.
He’ll fall proudly through the dim-lit sky,
Smoldering, lonely, with a broken hip,
The lovely mocking eyes of youth shut tight…
And all of which I would’ve learned to love.
M. W. DAVIS is poetry editor of the Quarterly Review