Complaining, over coffee

Oh and I suppose there should be another,
an again? Lest they all turn out the same
we might add a scent of difference,
an impression of bowing into the wind
as it hoops its unseen lips and slips back
the resolute umbrella, hand behind it.

Send summer’s citadel, even knowing that it too
might become part of the living loop
of dragging feet and vacant bodies
pushing sullen minds through their distractions,
peasants and aristocracy slipping
into houndstooth and herringbone,
crests as much as their ancestors smiled on.

So truly, there will be others
glancing through solace and regret,
perching on the smoke-edge and finger-turn,
pushing back the could and would
into a corseted acceptance of something
we embrace behind a nagging should.

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That one hour when

dozens of imprints overlapping
(coffee glasses, tea pots, cups, mugs)
add their print to this wood’s
stains of conversations past

I imagine their lives intersecting
circles, like the very ring marks
not solitary tree years
embracing dark autographs

we intuit
from and to each a story
from whose lips poured forth
moments precious or time evaporated

lines between sips
promises and deals brewed
romances kindled or doused
here engraved in memory

as if this table might house
a gallery of a thousand lives
offering barest glimpse or
scratched reflection of that

one hour
when

(3 February 2015)