Just stop. For just this once, just stop. Let me
be the one that’s deaf to the sweating animal.
Let me be the barrel of monkeys, the balancing seal.
Let me walk to the bathroom for you.
I hold your hand, even when it shakes so.
Let me drown now for you too
—those limpid waters—a final marriage
we never made, too old for such a noticing.
Let me see your fear as you climb the stairs,
as if we did meet sixty, seventy years ago,
and did climb mountains together. Let me
be the kids we never had, never helped to
grow up. We can’t even see those mountains,
much less sit at the top of them. We can’t even sink in
the same river. We can’t breathe the same air.
Let me be you together.
Zip the zipper on your fly.
I can give you many years.