I am not ready to cast away
the dark hours, whose shadows
shelter my shame.
It is too early and I am too weary
to slip out from under
quilted layers of gray light.
Turn back the clock, I say,
to another day in the long ago.
When I was young and self-possessed,
innocent of temporal ravages
and beholden to no final moment.
Allow me to dream for another hour.
Keeper of time, though you
stifle my life-breath,
I bear you no grudge for
losses that cannot be regained.
But let it be known
I have no appetite for death.