Daily Archives: March 5, 2017

Alchemy (for M)

The coffee got left on
with little in the pot.
It looks like there’s a fog inside the carafe
where the fumes baked into a film on the glass.

Such a small disaster as that
cannot be allowed to stop the morning.
My lover has taught me
how to clean such grime with ice cubes and kosher salt:

combine them inside; swirl them around;
dump it and wipe the glass; then
rinse thoroughly
and make a new pot.

I do that and as it’s brewing
I think about what else she has taught me:
how I am growing older and how I am not;
how to sit and be still;

where I am failing and how
I may recover. How to be myself with her,
and how not to be lost to myself
when I am not.

That last is the lesson 
that came the hardest and
remains the hardest. As hard,
perhaps, as a film of hot fog burned

onto old glass — but with her
and with the alchemy I’ve learned from her,
no such small disaster as that
can keep us

from sitting together each morning, still 
and quiet, over coffee in the shade
of the living room before we raise the blinds

and let in the hard light from outside.

My Greatest Fear

My greatest fear
is of
becoming finalized.

That I set, and set hard. 

That one day I look around
and say, “close enough” or
“this is the way of things” or
worst of all, “whatever.”

That I fall into contentment
from this tightrope
and settle for it.
As much as I itch
for it now and again, I know
comfort is my enemy.  

A founding American liar
said we were owed 
the pursuit of happiness,

then made us believe
that meant
we were entitled as well to 
its capture.

I’m one who knows better.
Would not know what to do with it
if I caught it
except to let it go and 

start chasing it all over again.

Call me crazy.
I do.
I whisper it

to the night.

That itch,

I think,
makes my sun rise
and set.  I think it keeps me
whirling about
so that sunrise and sunset,
journey’s beginning and end,
are always just ahead of me,

always just out of reach,

always one apparent
stutter step away.