A Most Curious Vessel

At this point in my life

my eyebrows grow long

and need to be plucked

or trimmed

before they curl,

dangle or poke

conspicuously above

where eyebrows

reasonably should reside

on a human face.


When I don’t shave my beard

the whiskers that grow fastest

are coarse and white

twice the thickness,

none of pigment,

of the whiskers that first sprouted

on my adolescent face,

beneath my (then) unwrinkled skin.


With each passing day

my pores expand

and my forehead grows longer

while my brain,

my muscles,

and my bones

all shrink.


My skin is ruddy,

it droops,

and it's marked with

innumerable creases

paying tribute

to the destructive force

of my existence.


I’ve changed.

I am changing.

There is evidence of this

with every glance I take

in the mirror.


And yet I persist

to behave

and to think

and to feel

much the same

as the eleven year old boy

who sat on the toilet

for an alarming amount of time

upon discovering a few curly hairs

where once there’d been none

while the rest of his family

ate Thanksgiving Dinner

at the dining room table

of his Aunt and Uncle’s house

in Washington DC.


In due time,

I hope,

I will surprise myself

as much as my body has

by feeling as different

inside of my head

and in my heart

as I appear

on the outside of

this curious vessel,

that carries me through

this bewildering world

at which point,

I presume,

I will stop gazing at my navel,

and join the adults

at the dinner table.