A sliver of soap, a whole spoonful of chocolate. Time
to do nothing but sink into the oblivion of the ordinary,
read books, sleep until noon. When will such voluptuousness
be within reach, instead of seeming almost obscene? Once,
a catalog arrived in the mail addressed to the previous
tenant— I gaped at the glossy pictures: mounds of pearl-
escent caviar from the Caspian sea, ink-dark and salty; one
tiny kilogram the cost of 3 months’ mortgage, which
the caption warned should on no account be scooped up
with metal spoons, only crystal or bone. My luxuries
are smaller and monastic: the welcome blank between
chores, the silence of a cold yard punctuated by the pass
of a rake through fallen leaves; steam from a kettle,
hands grateful for the warmth steeping in a bowl.

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