this is the dress rehearsal


“After Minor Surgery”

this is the dress rehearsal

when the body
like a constant lover
flirts for the first time
with faithlessness

when the body
like a passenger on a long journey
hears the conductor call out
the name
of the first stop

when the body
in all its fear and cunning
makes promises to me
it knows
it cannot keep

Linda Pastan (1932-)