by Bill Yarrow

Over the years, his face
began to alter, becoming
not round but rounder

not kind but kinder, not
ruddy but red, the map
of his complexion now

filled in with rivers of
creases, lakes of dis-
coloration, saharas of

psoriasis, waterfalls
of burst veins, tufts
of vegetation sprout-

ing with no or ungainly
purpose from above his
eyes or within his ears

not to mention the adjacent
crow's feet, perpendicular
laugh lines, frown lines

and evidence of a habitual
bit lip, all these things
and others, about which

acquaintances commented
with savage nonchalance
“It's not age, but character”

but to him it seemed rather
as if all his secret sins had
become suddenly visible.