I fell in love, some would say too late,

Diane Seuss

the man told me he was almost dead,

and I believed I was everlasting.

He sent me, graciously, because I asked,

(I was away for the summer and missed his touch),

an unclothed photograph,

standing in front of a curtained window,

the white curtains tied back sweetly,

and a ruffled valance.

His face, weary, sad, his shoulders thin,

thin arms, soft chest and belly,

nothing in the pose to accentuate

anything in himself but who he was.

There is nothing in him of pornography.

I have never, myself, been capable

of such a photograph.

He sometimes spends the day in bed,

worried it’s too late for him, and therefore, us.

Of course it is too late for us.

I feel stupid denying it.

To love a man is to love a corpse.

To love me is to love a cadaver,

curled up in its bed, hands folded

under its chin like a sleeping child,

naked, unguarded, my lips slack and blue,

my breasts and belly soft as his eyes

in this photograph

in which he shows himself to me.

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