danse russe

—with apologies to William Carlos Williams

he, fifty some,
(no happy genius of his household)
performing awkward ballet
does strange study of geography
in front of bathroom mirrors

what he easily had
not such a long while ago
taut skin supple joints
he must now discover
by fitful ocular proof

locate through careful scrutiny
stretches of firm sinew
in the lower calves
by spying recover some smoothness
in few inches of dorsal muscle
or a reminiscent inward slope
above the buttocks
and such other scattered debris
of imploded youth
incongruously carried around
on papery-soled feet

[First published in Sevenoaks Journal, USA]