We are too much like old men,
weak and brittle-boned—
damned to a walking limbo,
unable to shake the rust of our failures.

I realized this after yesterday,
when disappointment—
born of lovers' runaway dreams
that did not come true—
blew through me
like an icy December wind.

Coincidence and irony insisted
that you join me for a drink outside the airport.
I was glad for the chance
to dispel the cold of a long, gray winter,
though it was the fireplace, not you,
that radiated warmth and life.

We once decided to run to strange places
where skies do not turn gray in the daytime;
we are too much like old men to travel anymore.

And as I look past the dust
gathered on my tarnished mirror this morning,
I wish to never see you again—
we talked of nothing
but the glory days.
We did not touch on those unfulfilled dreams
we shared on dark nights.

You spoke of some strange man,
and your eyes glazed over
because you remembered—
if but for a moment—
that youth is no longer in your grasp.

You spoke of your children,
who I know you once dreamed would be mine—
I will confide this:
I wished for the same.

You spoke of no weaknesses,
of no failures—neither mine nor yours.

In passing you mentioned
that you would send me a Christmas card.
How fitting
that tiny pieces of paper
bridge our thousand miles—
for we are too much like old men,
too cowardly,
to make the leap ourselves.