Cutting The Losses

All lengthening dies; so goes hair and hipster styles,
In what may be the last gray strand touched
On sideburns edged toward thoughts of perfection.
As he sat, motion displaced in the muscles,
He trusted my hands, those appendages
Moving across the hairline like eyes on stanzas.
He is the father, in and out of the abyss,
Though he's in my hands, slow turn-about,
And in his world, closer than I would have thought,
Vastly differing from when all was handled
By him: a near martyr with believable visions.
Now the nude back, a map of aging, mole-strewn towns,
Covered with wisps of hair, lying down to sleep,
Holds its strength in sight of oblivion
While releasing remnants of a past
That receive the doting, or vanish
Like small locks, inordinately soft.
Bringing closure through external acts.
The rarest spark? The father of triumph,
Heroes who you see in whole scenes, whole,
While they have devolved; shirtless, guileless,
(nervous in paradigms held together by need)
Till grooming's irrelevance leaves the place pale.

by Lamont Palmer

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