Today's poem is by Emily Rosko

Even Before Your Elbow Knocked Over The Glass

First, there were the broken pieces.
You said, don't you think I know

what I'm doing? To which I replied,
don't you feel most alone when we're in

this together? Under the eave, wasps
are constructing a nest, gray paper

out of spit, so much of the body
is in its work. See how

the legs move, bending and praying.
You said, don't you think I know

when you're trying to change the subject?
I could make a building out of my despair.

We could acquire a nice piece of land
and sit on it. There are a thousand blades

of grass, each one waiting
to be claimed. As I always say,

you said, if you commit one sin, then
you commit them all. To which I said,

how many absolutes do we have proof
of? The sky has never looked bluer.

What is the significance of that?
It means I might walk out on you

yet. What, you asked. Nothing,
I said, I said nothing. What is there

to say anyway, except in the sunlight,
I could see the glass fall even before

your elbow knocked it over.
This is always how it happens, certain

ideas are never fully formed.
This is some mess, you said.

To which I said, there are lives
that go on this way. Then we went

down on our knees, and
in that manner, we began.

Copyright © 2003 Emily Rosko All rights reserved
from Quarterly West
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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