This entry is part 1 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012


On the wall, a poster of the body’s meridians: every point on the palm, on the sole of the foot, a little signal that knowing fingers can decode.

The shoji screen is paper and wood. Or if you like, grain threshed, pulped and pressed into a frame; tensile bamboo coaxed upright from leaning too far out over water.

Face down on the table, I can feel knob by knob how the rungs on my spine lengthen, align.

The spicebush sends up its haze of yellow, the magnolia its tumble of sweet pinks. Underneath the scumble of bark, parts of wood look shiny, as if washed in egg.

Face down, I breathe through the paper towel laid across the headrest and think of how in the water, this might look like a dead man’s float.

Do you notice how one side of every face looks slightly asymmetrical in relation to the other?

I bought a pair of metal earrings from an artisan at a fair: one engraved surface said “un”, the other “usual.”

My hair has grown longer. Mornings are too quickly warm. On the porch, through a haze of hair, I like to listen to things that warble.


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