It’s when you’re getting ready for work that you realize
a golden age has passed.You’re scraping lather
and whiskers off your face when suddenly you feel
his absence, your new normal,
but unlike every other moment of the past three months
you understand how much time you’ve wasted
in your whole fleeting life hoping for more,
just like the cliché running diligently through so many songs
and sitcoms and movies and books, a truth familiar to most of us
but with the corners rounded off, because the songs and sitcoms
and movies and books haven’t prepared you for the impact of this truth
that smacks you upside your head. The not-rounded-off metaphor rips into
your forehead and takes a little flesh with it. For all your effort
not to draw blood this morning, it’s happening anyway.
You’re left feeling vulnerable. Isn’t this similar to how sharks
wear down their prey? Take a little skin? Goad a little blood?
Leave us thinking it’s easier to give up than to struggle? The truth
comes back for your gut as you’re reaching for a tissue and a reason to live.
You stand and bleed and breathe, and if you’re lucky, you cry,
surprisingly not drained of tears after months of depletion. You float
in the moment, lather drying on your half-shaven face, no blood
or sharks, not even enough water in the sink to drown although,
if you really want to, you could open the faucet wide.
Finish shaving, brush teeth,
apply deodorant. You’re all dry and combed,
door open, coat dangling from your arm,
a minute from your morning commute when the truth comes back,
now a toothless shark like a child’s puppet that wants you to know
it doesn’t mean to scare you: There are more golden ages to come.
They’ll keep coming and they’ll pass you by
whether or not you believe in them.