Poetic License: ‘No Great Thanks to you, Cavafy’
Inside their worn, tattered bodies
sit the souls of old men.
– Constantine P. Cavafy
No great thanks to you, Cavafy,
for telling me
the souls of old men
sit inside their wrinkled bodies
unhappy about everything
except being alive
to be unhappy.
As I sit outside
on my screened lanai
reading you, Constantine,
don’t you think I would cast aside
this shabby winter coat of body
if I thought the silver inner bird of me
could last fifteen minutes
in the cold wild outside the cage?
I sailed your book to find Ithaca
but instead washed up on a metaphor
of old men’s souls sitting inside
their wrinkled outsides.
With metaphor mongers like you,
who needs enemies?