Something is wrong with your face. No, it’s not
an old man, but one who has not grown up.
Despite gray hair or one eye caved like a cup
and dead, and one eye that is a gray plot
of yellowish mist through which a white deer
leaps and fades or flashes blue in a dream
where you forgot your death, you longly scheme
the alphabet of light to fill the sphere
in your heart. Blackness gone, now you must smile 
like a child. You relish an Old Norse word
offered the sky. But lonely and absurd
you know something is wrong. Face of a child,
laughing, tormented like a tooth, your eye
waters to know the panther who cannot die.

From Mexico In My Heart: New And Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2015) by Willis Barnstone. Copyright © 2015 by Willis Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.