We wore our own hides
proudly, like the trophy skins of prey
or Prada fur.
I had nothing else on, and you?
You also wore a beard, I think, but then
it might have been no more than a half day’s growth—
it’s hard to remember. Smells
stir memories sometimes but right now
slicing onions I smell nothing
and try not to cry.
And as I am rinsing the dishes
I think of the ancient Egyptians
drawing the brain through the nose
with a hook
(it is not one of the organs
they thought to preserve)
until the skull was just clean alabaster—
an empty canopic jar.
And soon the day’s going to stop.
The sun is about to die out. The horizon flatlines,
the lights that line the streets begin to glow.
That day, your eyes struck mine like flint …
Our faces were younger then. These days
my skin is tough and underneath
my heart is tusk—hard as the fossil horn
of a triceratops.