Water drop. Clink of a bottle. Crumb
From yesterday’s guttering candle.
Hieroglyphs of grain in a cup,
Oblong bubble in the loaf
He tears apart. Sooner or later, it all
Adds up: profligate seeds studding
A split fig, infinitude in a jot of jam,
Pyramid in a crystal of salt.
He will put a few olives in a bowl,
Lift a lump of cheese from a barrel
Of brine, discover a spring
In the shadow of Aetna’s crater
Muttering the riddle of one and many,
Substance unchanging, never at rest.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 4, on page 44
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