The Lovely Young
The lovely young loll under summer skies.
Ray-Bans and Maui Jims obscure their eyes.
Not much else is hidden, stretched out in strips
of Speedos and string bikinis. What's on their lips?
Gloss and chit-chat. Do they fear the heat of the sun?
No, it glows, the perfect instrument to perfect a tan,
turning them golden. They're immune to how time flies
until that face in the mirror takes them by surprise.
From the lonely porch, the shaded poet spies
on the lovely young, lithe limbs entwined, and tries
calling up a memory of summer's fire
to find the perfect words for such desire.
And in cooled white rooms the surgeon would restore
the surfaces the lovely young once wore--
reshaping taut cheek, wielding silver scythes
to sculpt the excess flesh from bulbous thighs.
One hand, frail as paper, holds a trembling pen;
one, steadied, scrapes a palimpsest of skin:
the old at their labors to immortalize
the lovely young who'll soon be otherwise.

Melissa Cannon

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Melissa Cannon would be pleased to hear them.