On the Logic of the Gift Economy

Shimmer inks, cream
paper, shelves and shelves
of books— I've been going
through the accumulation 
of the years. Once again, 
this ritual to (every now and then)
take inventory of what I've kept 
in boxes or folded carefully away. 
We're told we already have
everything we need. How many
appetites can one person set loose 
through the thick, unmown grass 
of this one life? What's too much, 
too many? You might get a butterfly 
or lizard pin from me in the mail, 
a clutch of Japanese print bookmarks;
a leather journal embossed with 
the figures of the three Fates. One 
spins the thread, the second 
measures its length; the third 
harvests it with her shears.
Tomorrow and tomorrow, 
even a miser couldn't count
the leaves that grow back
whole fields in dappled light
or crumble in the fall.

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