Today's poem is by Ted Mathys


I split an orange and the day
fell in half.

On the counter—
ante meridiem hours, shower,

a lone green taxi and eggs, aspirin, chapters
of Leviticus and The Economist,

sly supermarket smiles, an appreciation
of dogwood, of ginkgo,

the employment pages—all lie
manifest in a ripe hemisphere.

From far below,
juicing on the floor,

I pick up the wedge
of twilight's slippery body,

pick up halter-tops and cocktail
lounges, sloe gin fizz,

pick up cicada whirr and elephant
grass, smog blocking the stars, tankers

dead in the harbor, pick up clubs
with men whose shirts say J'adore Dior,

pick up a breakdown,
still shaking in the street,

late-nite Lebanese
shawarma, burlesque, graffiti,

and heavy carnality, pick up a city
with a load of viscera roaming it.

I've been told to work
at reconciliation,

to synthesize, to live
only one life at a time,

so now I fit
the two halves of the sphere

back together and I think
they're right—the day

looks just lovely as a hummingbird
taut in the sun, hovering in chains.

Copyright © 2005 Ted Mathys All rights reserved
from Forge
Coffee House Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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