The Lapidary Speaks


              It's the greatest thing—

                              when you realize there is no death.

That it all takes place at a dinner table

              without linens or forks or neckties

                              and we ask for refills of wine

without recognizing that every time

              we dive in the ocean, we're only going

                              for a swim.  To cut a cabochon

or trace an agate is to know these ruins

              will never go quiet.  Have you noticed

                              how sky holds the water down—

a woman's palms over a pleated skirt?

              She says inured, she says noise churned,

                              she says swallow and moon

your own tide.  Tonight: brush your teeth,

              then eat.  At some point, the chassis

                              will rattle and you'll come home

as expected as a bedroom closet.

              The table never changes

                              the chairs, always mellifluous

rips in a current toward open sea, where

              the wind's fetch is without limitation

                              and everything tumbled thrums.

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