Perfect Lover

by Carolin Messier

Overdue Wash

High above the streets of getting and spending,

you crave yet revile

the manic pace of modern life.

Evolved, yet so primitive,

you race to appease your basest needs

of safety and security.

 

But all those objects and all that glitter and gold

and letters after your name

or letters before your name

won’t save you from death.

He’ll come knocking when he’s good and ready,

regardless of what’s on your calendar.

 

He won’t ask whether you have time

between appointments

before you pick up the kids

or after the charity dinner;

he doesn’t care how much you get done

or whether you’re admired.

 

He won’t care if you’ve had  your roots dyed

or your nails done

or  you’re wearing your ratty panties

because all the nice ones

are in a pile in the corner of the room

waiting for the wash that’s overdue.

 

Your mother would be mortified

and roll her eyes,

but death won’t care.

He’ll take you as you are,

like you always imagined a lover would,

but you never really felt.

 

Or was that you who wouldn’t let the lover see

your graying roots

and dirty nails

and frayed panties over hips that are one size,

ok, two sizes too big for the elastic

that digs into stretch-marked hips and thighs.

 

Death doesn’t care about extra pounds

he’ll take you as you are,

even if the recycling

and compost bins are mixed up

and the bed’s unmade

and the messages go un-listened to.

 

The perfect lover, he’ll take you as you are.