Ecdysis (Or, Middle Life)

I look at myself,
lax flesh falling, and fail
to recognize my hands, my legs,
the breasts that won a contest
once. Still,
electricity runs
beneath my skin, and if
I touch you
you may turn
to ash like those putrid black
snakes that sizzled on the sidewalk
after a quick flick
of my brother’s Bic.

I Will Break Your Heart

I will break your heart, dear one, not
because you love me and I cannot

love you in kind, but I will break
your heart as you forget the gravel

of my laughter. Your jokes now strike
a minor chord, and your pretty is just red

lipstick on a steamy mirror, never
as erotic to me as when you dragged

your fingertip along a flower petal.
It is true the echo of my shoulders

shrugging under cotton, rosined bow
notes, will stoke, stroke, your pain

to a fever’s pitch and you will bear
the edge of a blade, my tongue, in the

sweet hollow beneath your jaw. I will
break your heart, dear one, when you

step out onto the rocks, slick with algae,
and cannot cross the river before I go.