I think we’ve known each other long enough
for me to give it to you straight.
You look like shit.
arhythmically, as if you’re carrying
a fragile load you mustn’t break
(your knees are shot).
loose-fitting trousers, and a baffled air,
a man for ever locked outside
a door that’s shut.
is pasty, puffy – like the rest of you;
now everything that once was firm
is loose and slack.
like one expecting to receive a blow,
as if the weight of centuries
is on your back.
I feel for you a tenderness I never did before,
watching from day to day your long
slow fade to black.