The old man’s muscles, vines
grown tight around a wrinkled trunk,
warning of a smaller crop,
promising richer, darker fruit.
Having fun? he said.
Fun is good, he said.
It’s medicine against romantics, he said.
The romantics are like the shingles
or the vine louse, he said,
they hurt like hell, they kill the root.
You caught a cold,
you need the cure, he said.
Do I know you?
You will, he said.