Filters

I am glad for the door
with its deadbolt and chain

and for the sleeve of paper
that filters coffee in the machine.

I am glad for the little ties
in the duvet’s four inside corners

and for each window’s double pane of glass
that keeps more of the cold outside.

I am glad for the discs of rubber
that stick to the feet of chairs

and keep them from scratching
too deeply the heart of the wood.

And when I first arrived in this country
I was perplexed by how most living

room ceilings were smooth and plain,
without any visible light fixtures

though lamps flanked each armchair
or sat beneath shades on side tables—

By which I gradually came to understand
that for all that prides itself on being

forthright, we still like to keep a little
space between ourselves and the thing in question:

like the vinyl lining that takes the spray and not
the actual shower curtain; or the rubber mute, slipped

onto the instrument’s bridge, that dampens sound
and makes it possible to practice late into the night.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← SensoriumLeaving the winter pagoda →

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