Notes on the Cosmic Position of a Coffee Shop

This poem appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Slant.

I.

The scars on the wood on this table beneath
My mug tell no good tales, they tell
No good stories but with dark grooves they cut
Constellations in a dirty sky.
Shadows fall across them,
Chasing and resolving the black ash of horses
Burnt into barren hillsides, ancient with strife,
Running round and round and never running down.

II.

There are leaves outside the glass
And lights hang in them:
There I go, a different me from a different past.
How odd I look out there,
I glide by, my eyes slide
All across the crowds and hills and skies and all across
The World, as magnificent ships sail into sunsets
Above colossal moons that occupy the sky entire.

III.

Bright stars, brighter fires: you cannot
Divide yourselves, nor can I divide you.
All of you are none, some are one and many
Occupy you, the same multi-universal space, a
Line extending into the proximity of air but
Stretching back then bouncing
Off and off the sides of glittering tesseracts:
Cosmic basketballs. Lowing spheres of light.

IV.

I yearn, I yearn,
My destiny to turn
Symbols on a page into grand designs,
My heart to burn
Lumps of leaden meaning into princes and queens,
Thoughts into friends, and stories of friends.
The moons they coalesce into tiny pools of light (they always do)
They come into focus amid the leaves
While someone else entirely
Glides idly by, right there, outside the glass.

 

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