Rings on rosewood linger
from a cold glass of ice
that warmed but soon after,
whose contents evaporated away.
My chaser became the room,
matching it twice
in form and temperature,
Would never have stayed.
So I roll the glass
with a retrograde tilt,
but keep it in place,
but keep it at hilt
such that knurls on the crystal,
jagged knuckles on the base,
make it thump in a path
and it steps and it stilts
in its own kind of track
while connection with the ground
through multiple laps
stipples neatly on a plane—
infinite curve by singular tack.
And this motion is contained
to the confines of the round
of a bullseye-mark stain
where a highball was put down.
Reminds the afternoon patina,
the hunching over my piano,
the warmth of its shade of cocoa.
And the mug I placed on its bench,
where subsequently the lacquer
gave way to warmer matter
and a matte “O” was forever etched in print.
Reminds of sap-stuck fingers
that ailed us backwoods explorers,
that neither the soap nor the hottest water
could manage to separate.
Reminds of the smell of the road
that gashed through wild mint
with its tire-milled dirt pounded thin,
and the hazel dust that arose
and managed to stay ever close
when the little Sahara was traversed again.
Those clouds would form and move and clove,
and the dry would pinch in your nose;
yet it seemed the only stretch of land
to never see any rain.
And now it strikes as strange,
and I’d love to explain, but can’t—
the green was never killed,
while cleaved, and beaten, and grilled;
it managed to weather the dust
and ride on the cusp
of the electric months after May.
These things don’t peel away.
Reminds how none of this strays
too far from the path,
or too far out of mind,
and the nature of present and past,
how inseparably they bind.
Like the light to the glass,
one moves through the next,
and all the moments hug tight,
each forebears another's context.