It is always later than you think,
late in the day, late in history –
too late to keep a diary of carnal pleasures
or be the chronicler of what must be
forgotten and forgiven.

No longer young-as-ever
you are like Narcissus who sees his face and weeps
because of the cracks and creases in it,
the lines of age, the rheumy eyes,
the purple veins no longer hidden.

It is always later than you think.
So late it’s late into the season when the years
of the tree are cut down to be
paper for words not written yet,
a cradle or a marriage bed.

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