The hinge between them is slight: a moderate pull with the wrists,
and the chopsticks come apart. Pale, unlacquered: permeable.
She is lonely in that house: cabinets stuffed with old lace and chiffon,
flagstones of cracked shale. Eyelets, keyholes: equally permeable.
Mornings, I’d wake there to things that to me resembled light: clinked spoons,
smell of browned onions in the pan; bread rolls dipped in coffee, permeable.
I remember the sound of her old Singer sewing machine, the cushion,
the orange chalk, the pins. The needle makes surfaces more permeable.
Some things grow even more tenuous with time. The tin roof, never patched,
now leaks rain water into plastic pails. How does one seal what’s permeable?
How to fulfill duty in the midst of difficulty? In the end it seems I always
fall short; regretful I’ve failed, my best intentions pockmarked, permeable.
In response to small stone (129).