Learning to live alone

Ask for a toy-size pan
in which exactly one egg

might be fried. Stop testing
the air for rain or the milky

steam from a rice cooker which
isn’t there. Hunger can be scaled

down to two onions and a whole
loaf of bread: abundance. You go

out to do work in the world,
for which you are thankful.

Cedarwood and juniper, grave
note from a wand of rosemary.

The telephone reminds you
of obligations and appointments.

In between, your mind rehearses
for some calamity or ultimatum.

Silence is a portrait the moon
may have left in the well.

Your hands make so many gestures
for what they want to contain.

A friend writes about swans.
Another sends pictures

of palaces and bombed-out
villages. At random street

corners, the startling blue
of bearded irises. Every morning,

birds in the dogwood. Every night,
a precise geometry of cricket cries.

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