Weathered and Wind-dressed
by David Bowles

Of course our bodies ache for youth and beauty,
to feel the press of fresh, firm flesh.
But let’s leave the untrammeled lovelies
to glory together for these golden hours—
we remember well how that false forever
spends itself in breathless puffs of steam
and drying sweat and pheromones
and groans that fade into sighs.

Instead, let me trace the lines of your love
from the light webbing by your eyes
to the artist’s scars that fleck your skin
and the marks of motherhood that fringe
your breasts and hips, a fretwork of fine
fissures across incomparable contours,
guiding my fingers toward luxurious lodes,
precious veins hidden from all but me.

In turn, come put your calloused hands on
the expanse of my skin, drag your age-rimed
hair across these pocked and craggy folds,
carve the pickaxe of your tongue into this eager
earth, this mineral-rich field where you staked
your claim, push past loose sandy soil to the
packed clay and granite that quivers at the touch
of its only prospector, able sculptor, deedholder.

Ah, we can look upon their shiny sensual selves,
like plastic bricks that click together and pull apart,
and remember our halcyon days of mortise and tenon,
but they cannot fathom the deeper, soul-shaking joy
of weathered skin on weathered skin, worn to fit
each other so absolutely that the seams disappear,
like wind-dressed stones perfectly joined,
set without mortar by the universe itself.

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