old men cannot dance
to the music of the modern wood nymphs
because their skin is a stone-faced sarcophagus
to the wailing world

old men cannot sing
to the sound of new love-sick crazies
tuning their throats together in chorus
because their voices are sand songs
rasped over the listening ears

old men cannot long
for the bronze and the slyly revealed
taking in the sun like dye in wool
because their hearts are empty
with the hollow haunted dreams

old men cannot touch
the pressing or the yielding hands
that reach like waves in the desert
because their time passed them by
when they weren’t looking

old men cannot live
in a life that forgot it birthed them,
haggard parent that is too used up
with little ones to keep them awake
screaming for milk to scarce to go round

so I will not get old
I simply will
then I simply won’t