Various and Sundry Poetry

instructions upon waking

Ignore the balls of dust on the rug, the laundry pile metastasizing, the reams of mail spilling from the kitchen counter. The blanket on the couch does not have to be folded into four perfect corners. The dishes from yesterday can stand another soak. A shower is unnecessary. Overlook the uneven, mismatched topography of the living room, the coats you have cast off on your writing chair, the knapsack of dirty gym clothes, the books you haven't read, the wrinkled inserts of magazines littering the coffee table.

Turn the heat on. Make coffee. Look out the window. Consider the contours of your body. Put socks on. Know that someone else is thinking of you, as they dress and gird themselves for the day. They are thinking, perhaps, of your lips, or your hands. They are thinking of your warmth, your long limbs, your smile, the way you know exactly how to touch them. They are not scanning the house for crumbs, urging you to vacuum. Imagine this a day of no fault-finding, no derision, no pulverizing ache to do a better job. Make breakfast. Eat until you are full.