This poem is taken from Stand 222, 17(2) May - June 2019.

Holly Day Two Poems

I am too old to be photographed gracefully, there are
too many lines and not enough decent stories
to go with them. I tell you this
as you try to take my picture once again, tell you
that these are pictures that belong only
above an obituary, don’t show these to anyone
until they’re requested
by those I leave behind.

I close my eyes and lie back on the bed and I
hear you take the pictures anyway, at me
stretched out naked on the sheets, leave nothing imagined, I
imagine autopsies, embalming, the careful hands
of a cosmetology student as she tries
to make me look lifelike enough to set before an audience.
You tell me you still find me beautiful, even now
I don’t believe you.
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