One Story Leads to Another . . .

Let Me Tell You What It’s Like

Before I was old myself, cold, the black ice
of wintry simile and metaphor seemed fitting.

I was mistaken. Aging is about flame,
heat, about fires set, fires extinguished.

It’s like your gas stove blows up
so you have to use the toaster oven.

The kitchen table catches fire, now
you eat on TV trays from Target.

The bed begins to smoke and char.
Suddenly, you’re sleeping on the floor.

One thing after another flares, turns to ash,
until at last the house itself goes up,

with you, of course, inside. Maybe
the dog gets out. Maybe she misses you.


*This poem first appeared in MJ Werthman White’s How the Universe Says Yes to Me (Main Street Rag Press, 2017).

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