Adverbs are shifty. They slink around. Sometimes they lead the conga line. Sometimes they insinuate themselves in the middle. Whose arms are suddenly wrapped around my hips? Ah. You see? Take simply: Simply being present in the world. Being simply present in the world. Being present simply in the world. I’m thinking too of how, over time, piles of stuff accumulated in the corners, in every apartment we’ve ever lived. Even now, bills in the gravy boat in the kitchen cabinet; books near the rice bin; squares of recycled gift wrap in the piano seat. Adverbs appeal to our sentimental nature. Merely. I’m merely saving for a rainy day. I’m saving merely for a rainy day. It’s merely a rainy day. It’s always a rainy day. Or is it that I haven’t made up my mind? How long have I kept this pair of fragrant candlesticks? They smell of gardenias. Correction: They smell faintly of gardenias. Faintly they smell of the day they sat on a damask-covered table, beside the wedding cake. We ate cake frosted with buttercream and orchids. We nibbled, a little daintily. The poppy seeds mixed with the taste of lemony things, buttery things, on our tongues. It can be simple again, you say. It can be simply this day, then the next, then the one after. One small quantity at a time. No matter: there are days I can see, more lucidly, into the heart of the matter. Lightly row, lilts the song. Yes, lightly. That I want. Lightly, I want.
In response to thus: simple things.