by Gary Hardaway

Where is Everything that Escapes?

How did I become this gray,
decrepit creature in the mirror,
splotched and sagging?

Whatever august grace and wisdom
I imagined when young and harassed
escapes the mirror's crisp edges.


We can apprehend beauty only
by framing it with the photographic
paper's edge or the novel's margins
and bookends. The whole of it

always eludes us and we sense
we are missing something
beyond our small horizons.


I stand accused by the cats'
judgmental eyes of having let
the bottom of the bowl appear
with its threat of hunger.

You Abandon Beauty

The light leaks out of your eyes
in search of clearer lenses
and fewer wrinkles in the lids.
The body grows tired of so much
demand for attention to be paid.