after Rembrandt van Rijn
The guarantee is your willingness to pull faces
at yourself, and to let the weather do likewise.
No plastic surgery. No wrinkle cream. No hair dye.
Laugh lines, you call the creases in the parchment.
The titles at the top, you call, of course, headlines.
This face is, you say, with a mental flourish, me.
Well, in that case, who am I? Who is this writing
about you, making you up as I paint and repaint,
giving you the best lines, begging a few laughs?
Who is this dour worrier, but your dear guarantor?