What We Know Too Well
It falls from us,
a towel heavy from having
taken the water from our skin.
The familiar melody
that wormed its way through
the brain, to wedge itself
in a slim crevasse--
we sing it without knowing
we are singing, our voice slides
so easily around
its grooved and bony frame.
What we do most often exists
only in average,
its commonest take. The black
grounds flecking my index finger
the coffee into the filter, the button’s
give and green glow, the scream
of the hot water
through the pipes, the showerhead:
None of this is happening now.
is yesterday’s, the car is planted in
every parking space you have ever
at the grocery store. Even with
your new winter jacket, in every
memory you have
in which you are cold, you are
wrapped in the same blue wool coat.
We need the
protection that this offers us,
the soothing possibility that
all things can
stay as they are when we last
encountered them. The towel
will be there
when we reach, the man’s face
and throat will still be smudged
the woman will answer when we
dial the number no longer hers,
not for years.
We bury our face in what we know
too well, it is so soft and dark.