The bounce from bed to floor
and from there to the door
doesn’t happen much anymore.
I tend to linger beneath the covers
to gather myself from the ashes.
I feel the weight of days upon me,
my yesterdays and their nights before
and their dawns and sunsets before them.
I sense them clinging to me,
like smoke from a wood fire,
pinching my eyes closed,
binding itself to my skin with a burn
like an embarrassment,
rasping in my throat in
an old man’s morning cough.
I suppose I could accept the asphyxia
offered by this crush of years,
these smoky memories, just lying still,
waiting for the inevitable next darkness.
But I just can’t. I still
agelessly throw off those bed-clothes,
flap away that smoke,
lay another piece of the tree of me
upon the pyre I’ll set off tonight
when darkness comes. That’s how
I light the way to tomorrow,
anyway, when I slowly climb from bed
and I clear away the smoke
and take a deep breath of today
one more time.