We loved her years ago, before

the lines of age could ever mark her face,

before the history books defined her place

in wax museums and in cinematic lore –

before we knew her, we had loved her so

as one might love a memory of snow-

white skin and rosy lips – and more

we loved her for she seemed to need

our love, we wanted her to feed

upon our unfulfilled desire.

Even in life she was not really there,

she had become an icon to us then –

and if she’d lived, with crow’s feet round her eyes,

I and a million other men

would love her, filled with our still-young memories.

 Michael Warren

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