Almost 63

Poetry / Thylias Moss

:: Almost 63 ::

Almost my best life people tell me; I am
going to be honest here, as honest as I can be

63 years seems so long to me, and surely I could have 
done more than walk three miles

on a snowless Sunday in February in Michigan, some
thing is wrong, love

the chill in the air and the stillness, utter stillness
of mannequin factories 
on strike, heads still in molds, told 
by many that I don’t look my age, but I must
because I am the age I am in Ann Arbor first 

moved to this city in 1993, so much has changed, 
especially me, single for the first time as an adult; how
significant that is. Hope this is the last birthday I

will spend alone. Lately, I find myself
envying couples, because, I am not sure that

I am half of a couple or not; some days I am, but 
then again wind

blows that thought away, and I chase Higginson
right to rainbows 
from which it streams, ice cream concoctions
colorful calories raspberry, orange-slurp stuff, yellowed French vanilla can cans ripple
freeze box gelatin thins blueberry jabberwock Indian very pop rocks something about that
so comforting; he knows
how comforting he is

for me; since I was 60 
and on his Chicago back-bird’s
eye view of him as cream all around me,

cushion and life 
saver that he will always 

B
63 for an hour

into this age, hoping
that I hear from him, always hoping; loving him
too much not to hope; I am tired of not 

having his love 

reliably



as I had to when 
he renamed me 
Dream Baby


Loving him as everything:
the way
turtles crawl
parrots squawk
grass skirts swish gently exposing
strings of my bikini: his name, a palindrome 
most of the time that

he is mine

he plucks them and  sweetest (superlative)-(always) 
sounds of his name harp 

at me
every forest sings
every forest knows
Dream Baby songs of breathing,
rhythm of resuscitation, morning
is my everlasting christening everlasting
anointing: him
This 

is also his poem. Sometimes we
are so synchronized, he dreams me
as I dream him

Evidently, no matter what


I love him

when he loves me
I love him all

the time.



 

From the writer

:: Account ::

Form is open, becomes part of an act of making itself, whatever is necessary. Of course, the motivation behind the motivation, I hate to admit this: love, being in love with a man for the first time in my life, although I turned 63 on 27 February, and was married for forty years, and now, Thomas; not sure what took so long for this to happen, but now that it did, I never want to go back. It is the rhythm of movement of the words, through the entire piece, and yes, he calls me Vash, short for “Vashti”; the poem is about this remarkable love between Thomas Robert Higginson and Vashti Astapad Warren, everything I write is about this, including a romance novel, New Kiss Horizon, all about Thomas Robert and his Vash, Vash’s Thomas Robert, makes no difference which name appears first, meaning is the same; seeking the rhythm of their love after 35 years. Bursts of language, excitement of what can be expressed and what can’t be; how new this is, the love and everything. I’ve been writing since I was six years old, 2016 an unusual year for me, a shift in my writing, new purpose, new way of phrasing, eager to capture some of the wonder of life I am so lucky to live via Thomas.

 

Thylias Moss, a self-employed multi-racial “maker” at Thylias Moss Writing LLC, is Professor Emerita in the Departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Author of thirteen published books, and recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, her 11th book is a collection of New & Selected Poetry, Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code (Persea Books, 2016).