I watch distant blue hills, mountains that check off into the clouds
or the water. I am afraid of getting old.
I am afraid of forgetting
what time it is
what gate to depart
what I’m doing here.
I try to look as intelligent as possible
but I am afraid of the dark paths
where maps don’t quite meet
mountains of memory are being submerged
I am afraid of stiffness
of feeling my blood shift when I put my feet
on the floor
I’ve always been afraid of disorganization,
like body fluids spilling
out of open veins.
I am afraid of growing old
because it is so vague.
The sense of myself is as sharp
as a morning in Kansas
where a girl stood by a barbed wire fence
eyeing the ceramic knobs and taut wire
wondering if it was
electric — to touch or crawl under?
I fear growing old
because I see the youthful adepts jogging
where I walk.
Not wanting my spirit
to fail before the body.
There’s something I want to have said or done
I may lose the where with all
to find this something;
A reason I’m here
An aching untold story
A making I don’t want to leave undone.
I’m afraid I’ll die of a pointless life
not a dread disease.
I’m afraid of aching to the end
I’m afraid of being used up
before I’m gone.
In what activity do they first teach you
how to fall?
I’m afraid of growing old.