Thank goodness I didn't do that

Do the math
Life narrows into a funnel
where opportunity gets clogged as it moves
down towards the plughole of death.

Do you really want to get there saying
‘thank goodness I didn’t do that’
Or rather
‘thank goodness I did that’?

When we are young life is endless.
Everything can wait.
We feel deeply
and we act rashly.

When age snows white on us
we still feel deeply
but we don’t act rashly.

But we have less to lose.
We are wiser.
The risks are not the risks.

Do you want to know for certain
you will never have that first moment of a first kiss
with a new lover?
That first catch of the breath
as fingers find the space between silk and skin?

And you’re better now.
You know what you want.
You’ve refined the offering.

And you know what you don’t want.
You don’t want to break up the happy home.
Yours or theirs.
You don’t want a mess.

There is no good reason to hold back.
There is every good reason to make it happen.
No regrets.
No tears goodbye.

Because the time is coming
when it won’t work.
The veins will move under the skin.
The back will curse at the thought of it.
the lips will be dry
and the mouth will be hollowed of teeth.

There is still a moment to be had
when he can dive into your flesh with his mouth and his strong fingers
just to give you what you want.
When you can take his warm flesh in your warm flesh
Just to give him what he wants.

Making love was athletic
loveless, sexual but not tender.
Or it was tender
and blessing a life together.

Now you both know that to give is to receive
and that you can share love, joy, respect.
You can be dangerous but safe.
You can destroy nothing.
You can elevate the winter of your life.
You can turn on another bar of the electric fire
as your limbs grow colder.

Suddenly it will be too late.
One scan
one visit to the surgery
that signals the start of what is to come.

Where new adventures in love will play no part.
Where ointments and capsules will fill the emotional space in your hearts
and where your will will stiffen
then soften
then evaporate.

Your hormones, his hormones
are being winnowed away.
they have less on their mind.

But, still,
can you really say you want the certainty
that you will never again experience that magic moment?
That first kiss
That first frisson of fingers between silk and skin?

Can you really say
you want to get to the point of no return
and say ‘thank goodness I didn’t do that’?