Disrobing, her back kept to me out of ancient modesty,
she still looks young—her loveliness untouched by time—
some aspects never altering, however many ages pass.
And though my private stag party proves shortlived
(its view-halloo taking soap and towel to showerstall)
the old connubial pack is all a-rush: hounds of love
in full pursuit, devouring me again despite the years.

So divesting myself I follow, draw back the vinyl veil,
catch her in the startled act; she leaves off laving
for coverup with instinctive limbs and washcloth.
"Only me, my dear, not Norman Bates—nor yet Endymion,
I fear; sorry to disappoint you."  She makes a moue,
dashes water in my face and says: "For goodness sake,
act your age!"  But am I not? I ask her, am I not?


Originally published in South Coast Poetry Journal
(Fullerton, CA: South Coast Poetry Journal)
Number 13, June 1992

Copyright © 1992, 2004  by P. S. Ehrlich

Diana and Actaeon
(1603-06) by Giuseppe Cesari
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

click here to return to the Old Litter Index