The health survey said
he would live to 76 and I, 86.
Something to do with men’s
hearts on their worn old grapevines.
Something to do with their will
to lay down and die. In the westerns,
how glad they were to give their lives
away. Bad guy, if you can’t shoot down
a junebug’s nostril, you don’t stand
much of a chance. Men, thinking
they don’t have to cut power
to a bound-up sawblade.
Just think, Dennis says. Ten years
to yourself. No one stealing
the sheets or the last of the ham.
He says this as we make pesto.
This is how we joke with
each other, ha ha, and then
we kiss. Seriously, he says,
imagine no more socks
on the mantel. My arms
the sharp odor of garlic. Basil.
Parmesan cheese. Tonight,
a frost the herbs
won’t survive. Twilight
we worked the rows,
frantic, our gentleness gone.
Behind us, nothing but stems
and their faint heat. Before us,
the first crisp morning.