I’m dying
at the typical speed—
mercifully slow
and without much pain
except for this ache
caused by a man
so unusual
and beautiful
he hurts my eyes
and the center of my chest—
and lately this ache’s
been giving me trouble
near my equatorial
a region so neglected
I was startled to feel
a twinge of excitement
when he looked at me
the way I’d been
looking at him—
and now that I recognize
this pang for what it is,
I like the way it hurts—
the way it reminds me
I have a choice
to spend what’s left
of my life with longing
or with love.







Painting by N.C. Wyeth, circa 1920

One thought on “Latitudes”

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