How and Why

Sometimes you try to find 
a way to explain how you do it 

or why— Kind of like the way 
a food or recipe tester, say, might boil

hundreds and hundreds of eggs, set 
timers at 6 or 7 or 8 minutes to see 

which gives the jammiest center
for ramen, which makes the perfect

little breakfast orb to lower into
the cute egg cup and tap on the head

with a spoon until it shatters; which 
yields the least chalky yellow 

center for smooth deviled eggs 
and lively egg salad sandwiches. 

Is it disappointing when you can't
explain such a need in terms of white

oleanders or the soft, impossible 
fuzz on the cheeks of peaches, 

those kinds of things that others
might have praised for the whole 

orchards they see flowering in the skin 
of a thing simply cradled in their hands? 

Not that you can't also be tender like that, 
or give a different flavor to burning wood.  

Through a closed door or a medium
mistaken for a barrier, an absence

of thought: the reverberation of some 
far-off machine still sends audible 

signals. Think of all the riddles 
you've ever been given to solve—

There's a chamber walled in 
alabaster with a tree or carousel 

or snow globe at its center. Nothing 
can climb in or out. Or there is only

one way to get in or out. Your desire 
is to have it whole, a geometry 

where nothing is subtracted, 
even when taken away.

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