for W.S., in response
In me you see the beauty of a flower
that, once admired, withers in the vase;
whose dewy blush is dimmed each passing hour,
whose rouge sets florid on a wrinkled face.
In me you see an artful setting sun
whose colors cling to venoms in the air;
a moment trembling, before the light is done,
that kisses dust and makes the dust seem fair.
My face must seem the rising of a moon,
a profile gaunt and silver set in black,
a cameo of stained and carved bone,
a mask whose features have begun to crack.
Look closely at the clench of futile rage:
I’m now a woman of a certain age.