The Ache

Splinters of silver under toenails, sparkling.
With weak joints and tired soles he stood,
A man with many calluses, many scars,
All red and black and purple with neglect
And pressure under soft flesh,
Decorated with sharp eyes and split fingers.

The in-betweens inside him are
Hollow and bottomless.
Lonely, leaving the soul frigid.
Something is wrong, between the ribs and under gray skin,
Hands too brittle to split earth.
The rot of age haunting,
Yellowing the eyes.

He remembers the sweetness of youth,
Too young for aching, for torn muscles.
Memories like parchment planes drifting
With edges bleached and point bent.
They fell, tired and frail as he,
And the boy he remembered
Fell with them,
Tumbling into the dark.

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