Time makes the old songs stop playing:
the records warp, the tape crumbles
or the songs just refuse to infuse
my chest with the buzz of excitement
I once felt when they shook the air.
Time slows the dog who once ran
to split the wind with his face until
his ears were pasted along his neck.
Now he whimpers all night, speaking
for the mute pain of arthritic joints.
After taking the world away, time replaces
it with a nothing made worse than
nothing by its claims to be something new.
The old world was better than this one
and all I can assure the young is that
their world will be better than the next.
My ears inchmeal to deafness, unable
to take the measure of words that rattle
within them as a foreign language.
My eyes each year can focus only on a picture
stretching farther away than arms reach.
And these bodies which bustle around me
prove to be mannikins mimicking paths
once negotiated by friends I loved in days
when I knew more living than dead.
Now, even the friendly cat on my lap
does not know the name I call her.
Nothing that was is, so time is the midwife
of lies and the world still born each morn is