If you can remember the cold war, you’re too old for me.
       —Grindr profile

Because you’re twenty-two, and in your prime,
you silently refuse to date, or “date.”
When war was cold, I had a lovely time.

I messaged you and sent a shot of grime,
then shot some more. It must have been too late.
Because you’re twenty-two, and in your prime?

Perhaps. I’m shifting like a paradigm.
And all the new assumptions formulate
as if our war were cold. A lovely time:

I’ll exercise my stock, internal rhyme—
the currency is yours to circulate.
I’m forty-nine; my interest rate is prime.

Suppose that poverty is not a crime.
Suppose you more or less accommodate,
like war. When cold, we’ll have a lovely time.

Perhaps you’ll click on me in wintertime.
Proximity is constant; so is fate.
Was I twenty-two? Before my prime
the war was cold. I had a lovely time.

Copyright © 2023 by Randall Mann. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 3, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets. 

Who comforts you now that the wheel has broken?
No more princes for the poor. Loss whittling you thin.
Grief is the constant now, hope the last word spoken.

In a dance of two elegies, which circles the drain? A token
year with its daisies and carbines is where we begin.
Who comforts you now? That the wheel has broken

is Mechanics 101; to keep dreaming when the joke’s on
you? Well, crazier legends have been written.
Grief is the constant now; hope, the last word spoken

on a motel balcony, shouted in a hotel kitchen. No kin
can make this journey for you. The route’s locked in.
Who comforts you now that the wheel has broken

the bodies of its makers? Beyond the smoke and
ashes, what you hear rising is nothing but the wind.
Who comforts you? Now that the wheel has broken,

grief is the constant. Hope: the last word spoken.

Copyright © 2020 by Rita Dove. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 21, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

From The Complete Poems 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Used with permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.