there's something about watching your teeth fall out
one by one, fragment and break off,
that's pretty damn depressing...
all the sharp edges come into view of the tongue,
that all-seeing organ like a great antenna,
bending into the crevices of your broken beauty.
perhaps i am committing a great sin in
growing old and toothless when
i should be able to give up illusion and march
forward into the light of my pure being,
the way gandhi did, or mary baker eddy;
or else, as they did too, swallow the morphine
when the pain became too great to bear:
for even great souls are not immune to weakness
once pain sets in to stay
and that great hopelessness is upon you,
with the realization that it is hope itself that kills
and keeps you striving for an ever greater control
of your health, your welfare, even other people.
better to give up the hopeless quest and
know that everything ages, becomes diseased and dies
and no amount of spiritual angst or enlightment
is going to stop it.