On the First Law of Thermodynamics

Is it possible to have ever been 
in a place completely free of pain?
Was such a place beautiful,  
or was it unremarkable 

for the absence of any attachment
to the things you might have meant
when you said I wish or I want, 
or I cannot, I can? 

What did you lose 
in those years when all you wanted 
was to empty each room of objects 
that seemed to crowd the tight, 

airless room inside your chest;
or did they come back, multiplied
in number, edging each other 
for space on the furniture?

Outside, evening arrives
faster than it can fall. Trees
drop the last of their leaflets,
knowing this time of year is past

announcement. You couldn't stop
walking into it even if you tried:
even if you held still, you'd feel
the landscape bristle with either

hurt or love, a kind of static
electricity. At last, you might say,
or Oh; as one by one, lights flood
the insides of their bowls.

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