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Old Love, New Love

Old love is like an old suit of clothes,
well-worn at the elbows and knees
from all the years of hard work and
from all the crawling. At one time,
perhaps, you could have said it was
comfortable, but now it’s just small
and sad — tight through the back
and arms, harder to move, harder
to breathe, you just have to suck in
your waist, hold your breath, and zip.

New love is like a new penny that
glints in the sun so you pick it up
for luck, shiny and bright, a perfect
circle with perfectly smooth edges,
and turn it over and over in your
pocket where no one else can see.
You have become a collector of
pretty things that catch the light,
a blackbird caching treasures.

Old suits are worn at weddings
and funerals — your funeral —
the black wool blend pressed crisp,
the creases sharp, the collar stiff
as a cadaver, everything neater
than when you were living.

They’ll say such a perfect match,
cut from the same cloth. No one,
not even the undertaker who
bathed and dressed you, will
notice the small copper disk
in your left breast pocket, resting
on your rock-still heart, a treasure
to take with you to the ground
Posted 12/04/09
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