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.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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