The Conditions

Old love, like deer eating the tips of winter branches, the poor things still hungry at night. Old love my necklace, my familiar, what do you want? Can’t you tell I’m the acrid pulp of the oak—even insects avoid me. Please go. There must be many who will throw their arms around you. I’m an old man in a bathrobe, productive, alone at his northern window, with a few books for company. Love, don’t return, unless you’re the ghost of my dog…