Cleaning

Folding and sorting, packing
or putting away— who will get

the pair of extra dishes,
the jacket with sleeves traced

with waterfalls of embroidered
flowers? My necklace with its plate

of tortoiseshell edged
with brass bells and braided

horsehair; the bright woven cloth
I picked out from a market stall

in another life. I take them out
one by one, wipe and dust them

before putting them back on the shelves
— I love them still, all these things

I’ve purchased or been given: the cloudy
blue of clay bowls, the little bamboo whisk

the potter said I could use to make
an airy omelette some morning. The wide-

mouthed mugs which can hold an extra measure,
and from which I can still deeply drink.

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