As always at this early hour, I’m drinking coffee. I love coffee. I’ve loved it since childhood, when the aroma of it perking would invade my bedroom. Yes, I had a bed, and a room. I still marvel at it. At night, the sliding closet door, painted the same color as the walls, had to be closed. If it was open, the things hanging in the closet came to life and moved about. I was attacked by my blankets once. That was an ordeal. These weren’t dreams, they were real live happenings. A room at night is a strange place. There are spirits at the windows. Night spirits. Spirits made of sound, borne by soft air currents. Summer and fall spirits, full of longing and regret. How is it that a child so easily understands these things? Is it because there is little or no vocabulary to intervene? Winter spirits, with their soft-frozen kisses. Spirits of spring, which laugh and toss tiny pebbles against the pane. Word spirits, sweet sensations waiting to be born. Later, when morning came, the spirits took on substance. They were of flesh and bone. They spoke of their youth, or of things that needed to be done. With their hands, they took dishes down from the cupboard. With their hearts, they scrambled eggs, and made pancakes, and we ate them together in a gently rocking, slowly drifting ark, at a simple word-wood table.
The cup handle is an ear,
then a question mark,
then a portal through
which mythic breezes blow.
I see myself in miniature:
a figure leaps, and then is gone.
Songs and Letters, March 15, 2007
Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007
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