"Proteus"

by Emma Aylor '13

Emma Aylor '13You 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.