I also know my muse will go away
to lovers, young and lithe, well-groomed and hot
who want to fuck. Which really I do not,
nor put my naked body on display,
its creases and its sags, its whitened scars,
my guts too near the surface and my bones
too far beneath my fat. A knee that moans
and clicks when I exert it. Sat in bars
and being charming, I can hold their eyes
upon my dancing lips and witty tongue.
They’re easily distracted because young
and sometimes stroke my arms or upper thighs
which is enough. My poems, wit and charm
don’t get me laid. But keep my passion warm.
That otherwise would cool. My aching heart
would stutter into age. I make my art
from broken twigs of hope, and dried out flowers
spring left on my chaste pillow, or between
books’ uncut pages. Half-thought lines I mean
to use one day, but stare at for six hours.
I stack these on my desk. Piles that grow higher
More and more useless clutter in my head,
dust, fluff and crumbled leaves, ochre and red.
These never come to life except as fire.
But sparks will come. Affection or disdain
my muse will bring me. It all ends the same
She brings my store of words the gift of flame.
She strikes my heart to joy, or lust, or pain.