Warmth is ebbing from things.

Days like this, I miss you,
a few classy hankies of storm trailing the sun,
glare-bursts on goose-water,
the groundhogs like loaves of challah on the grass on the traffic
                 islands,
cars with children at the windows at the idling light.

I miss the sublime average, I miss mediocrity, life before metal
                 revelations and engirdled heights, before uptalk and wifi,
I miss the unmixed blessing of just what’s here, uncollected pocket
                 litter, the stray packets of oyster crackers, the fenced yards,
                 the R-8 shaking the fence, the wind spinning the tire swing,
shaving’s sleepy arousals, the pleasure of steamed glass, and
                 showering in back of the shed under the caterpillar cocoons,
                 hung from your peach tree like living cotton candy

I miss the security of dullness and how it stops the everyday from
                 hurting itself,
pedestrians wrapped in sunglare, teens making out in public, the
                 blurry tattoos and piercings, the third eye on an eyelid, the
                 bright grim first June heat-wave,
how mown grass can smell like crotch, how the splinted make-out
                 benches with old carved hieroglyphs are national treasures,
heart-and-arrow haikus on trees and delts,
how the pissed-on seats on the Riverline smell almost like fresh
                 coffee, O

the average peripheries, the average visions, which are the walls of
                 our prism, the
blessed typical, the take or leave it look of rain racing down the
                 trolley tracks on Germantown Avenue,
the narrow beam of light on the wall, descending as the sun lifts over
                 the house.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 36 Number 7, on page 27
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