You bend, old man: your heavy head
bows, a tired bracelet, slack bronze
on a rasped glass wrist. Ash frays
and falls at your edges, spare light.
We elide, petal flesh into gloam,
stalk sinking into stone, you
and I. The air scrawls its pith
around you, sounding the brine.
It measures nothing, for you
are changed: now a closet bulb, now
one dry castanet, now a freckle on night’s
wide shoulders, now gone.
* Above poem awarded 1st place in the Academy of American Poets Prize category for best single poem as part of the 2012 English Literary Awards.