He’s festered with hives and celibate,
a sorry-ass anchorite holed up in a condo,
peevishly enduring the failings of his flesh.
At first, he blamed the pills he popped
when his wife decamped, preferring the touch
of a hot-tub salesman to his tepid ministrations.
But he quit the pills and kept the hives.
For a while, it all seemed slapstick.
He thought of Job, then Lear—both dismissed
once the drugs wore off. Life’s cleaner now,
despite the itch. Still, he wants corruption,
the tumble and toss, the press of flesh,
the blush and rush and mess love makes,
its pink and smooth complexion.