my impulse to go forth and multiply was tempered at first
only by the chronic rejections of girls unwilling to date me.
At the age of twenty-five
in a diet rich with promiscuity, I sought redemption
in the bars and dance clubs of the city.
I became apprenticed to the vanity
of women who would never have spoken to me
if we had been young together,
In the habits of hope - clung to despite all evidence to the contrary,
I passed through the phases of my aging. I survived failures and failings,
I survived betrayals and betraying; I survived the defects of childhood
and the neurosis of youth; I survived being clung to and clinging.
For it was redemption we sought:
we wanted to salvage the heroic dreams we had lost as teens.
Moderation awoke in the wilderness noting how every new affection
was laden with reapings and sowings.
The course of my life had become a penitent trail.
There was no enduring comfort in the quieting of heartbeats,
my head on breasts, still joined at the hips, in softening withdrawal.
There was ecstasy
in the nuances of all that had carried us away,
but that ecstasy
was like sonar that sounds out depths but receives back no echo.
Adam was dead
and he knew it.