Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What We Know Too Well

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

after pouring
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.

Today’s shower
is yesterday’s, the car is planted in
every parking space you have ever

chosen before
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

with stubble,
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.


  1. Yeah, there's a certain degree of Groundhog Day to every day, isn't there? I especially like the car "planted" in every parking space you have ever seen. And the blue coat every time it's cold.

    And yet, we need these familiarities, at least to some degree. Interesting stuff, Hannah. :-)

  2. At first this made me feel uncomfortable, then comfortable, then resigned and comforted. Good one, Hannah!!

  3. This is arranged and presented in a very interesting way, with the words sitting on top of themselves. I like the particular details you've used, because they are utterly familiar, and yet when one goes missing or stops working or causes some problem....

  4. I felt that way just a few days ago...each time season changes and I reach out for last year's warmer clothes...the way I used to be...I find stuff in my coats' pockets...I remember with comfort xoxo

  5. I like the structure of this and the nostalgic emotions this plants in the front of my brain.

  6. I just went back to something I know all too well. The comfort was fleeting, but wonderful.

  7. I feel this way more and more. It's kind of freaking me out.


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