Dust and Glass

“You get this look, you know,
you’re too old, kid.”

Always the two of us sitting; this time
commercialized coffee shops hug the seats of
our pants; he’d say ‘britches’ with a couple more
shots working slowly from gut to brain.

Fingers his cigarette
nails cracked up the sides, little white dots on them,
read somewhere that indicates calcium deficiency.

“I know, I feel old.”
“Back pain?”
“Lower lumbar these days.”
“It’s the loneliness.”
“Could be…”

staring too intently at my own hands,
like looking at skin stretched just too thinly over
stained glass, colorful glass hands in skin gloves,
that’s what these are; pulled and malleated by elastic tendons.

“Where are you, kid?”
“huh”
“Where did you go?”
“I’m just wandering the canyons of my palms”
“Are you fuckin’ high?”
“no”

He sits back and I can imagine the shattered
remnants of his concrete spine
ground to smooth stones, stacked
up the center of him,
I can imagine them collapsing.

What happened to the dust created by the grind of his body?
Is that where the wrinkles came from?
bits of broken self shattered throughout the capsule,
settling on the surface, pulled down by the weight of gravity,
marring and creasing each wrinkle into place?

“Well, look…
I get worried about you sometimes, kid.
Don’t want to think yourself into oblivion.”

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