I will grow my remaining hair long,
and wear slip-on shoes.

I will clear a corner in my house,
set up an easel, and paint badly.

I will squeeze every avocado
at the produce mart.

I will freely offer opinions
at dinner parties,

but I will never host dinner parties.
I will use air quotes frequently.

I will not accept the premises
of most questions.

I will sit on the fire escape
with a bottle of vodka

and devour all the books
I was once too busy for.

I will openly mock
bureaucrats of every stripe,

but I will gush reverently
about one particular woman,

and have quiet talks with God
without ever entering a church.

That is, if I get old –
if I am actually alive.

I will refuse to define old
because it should be obvious,

nor will I explain alive
because opinions vary,

but I hope for time and faculty
to linger and fuss over words,

and, perhaps, write some
better poems than this one.

Selected byNolcha Fox
Image credit:Gil Ndjouwou

Hugh does not prefer to talk about himself in the third person, but if he did, he'd tell you he's in a self-imposed exile on the east coast of the USA, but still loves his former home in the Sonoran Desert. He is the author of Odd Numbers And Evensongs and Auditions For The Afterlife.