i lack the quick sharp feel of success
that i have felt at other times,
a barber’s razor lightly held against the neck.
nor do i have the sense of a good stick
picked up along an old trail
and held swingingly for years and years.
i cannot catch the scent of foreign food
that used to line the street, my stoop,
my stairwell when the relatives came calling.
not my razor. not my relatives. not even
my stick, for i left it reverently along another trail
when i moved to the city, positioning the find
just so within the brush and briars. to see it
someone will have to be looking.
and now these things i did not own are gone —
what is that to me? what is this creeping grief?
this emptiness? this wandering among unfurnished rooms
and wishing to go back, to have appreciated before losing,
to have known what it was that the universe was giving me?


2 thoughts on “lack

  1. i like this. yes–the grief of the things we never owned and didn’t know were a part until they were not–smoking on the roof of my flat in calcutta; picking up temple flowers on the street. where is home? the sadness that you will never again be the you you were then, there again…if even ever there again at all. ah, it’s all amuddle.

  2. agreed. muddle. and sometimes when it’s lonely or very quiet i think i’m really missing being in a place where those things come my way. what am i doing here, i think, in this house or city or country? in this skin?

    but then i remember that i never really thought of myself as getting good gifts until they were gone. and i think when it comes time to leave again (i always leave), what will i miss then? probably something that’s going unappreciated now. probably several somethings.

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