When I was a child, I lived your childhood.
I swept the rooms you swept in and out
the grooves in the boards. I held the paintbrush

and kissed your sweetheart at eleven, at fifteen,
metal-scent ringing in my ears all true all true.
At eighteen, I attended your institution and

learned from your mistakes, which were old to me,
worn by having been made. Your infant peered
into my eyes, absent for recognizing little

yet percolating with continuous instance.
At eighty, I was eighty. At ninety, I was ninety.
When you died, we died and I kept on living.