Whoever said sex sucks after fifty-five
was definitely younger than fifty-five
& probably younger than,
like, thirty. I like it so much better now
slow & slow & slow & slow,
the way we have to go
so we don’t throw out our backs.
Maybe the lights are better now
turned down low, maybe getting there
takes longer, but I like
the butterfly eyelash kiss
brushed everywhere, especially there.
I like the almost-touch that sees, has eyes,
that tastes & has a mouth,
& I like a mouth.

The young think the body is the bomb
& they look at ours, aghast, as if
we were already ghosts.
But we are not ghosts. We are the ones
who have lost nearly everything.
The ones who’ve lived long enough
to understand the chasm
that divides each second from the next.
Who know fear
is an aphrodisiac & nothing
is scarier than time.

Ripeness is all, says Lear & it reminds me
of learning how to choose a pineapple.
At the roadside stand, the strong girl
with the long sharp machete
showed me what to do: first, turn
the fruit over & breathe deeply in.

Not dizzy?—not ready. If you get drunk
on the scent, then start hoping
this is the one. Set the fruit upright
at sight level to look straight across
at its quilted squares,
each pierced with an eye. When it’s ripe,
the pineapple’s eyes
—& you will see this with your own eyes—
will be fully open. That is when
to strike the flesh with the blade,
when to split the fruit, discarding the pith.
No more bitter pith.
This is the time, eyes fully open, to slurp
the golden syrupy flesh,
juice running sticky & thick down
your arms, lips & chin—come, Love.
It’s time to begin.

Read on . . .

Ode to Sex,” a poem by Tyree Daye