My Wife’s Glass Vat of Buttons

I go through her buttons:
that population of immigrants,
some humble, prepossessing,
some big, shiny hemispheres
like the golden dome
of a Shiite mosque. Some are
eagle-embossed, tarnished
from combat. One is tortoise shell
to which a pittance
of yellow yarn still clings.
One is shaped like a tornado
carved into maple. A black-rimmed one
might have been a puppet’s eye.
The light blue ones on a little card
seem despondent, pining
for the holes they've lost
or for the fingers that once pressed them gently
through. Others seem to make
the best of it: two members of the same
clan looking for a third.
Here’s a sexy, sparkled one
eager for sequined cleavage.
Here’s an oblong one, red as a jalapeno
that could burn a statement
into a cloak of snow. Some smell
of rosewater cologne,
some Pontifical incense, some tears.
This is a harbor, an ocean of souls
behind life’s thin thread.
There’ll be a second chance
for some, but for most 
there’ll never be closure.

 

published in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Salamander:

Links to Poems:


One Jacar

"Shaking Off My Expectations"


South Florida Poetry Journal

"My Wife, the Professor of Costume Design", "Brothers"


Big Ugly Review
“First Time I Saw Grandpa Shirtless”


The Pedestal Magazine
“The Beech Tree”


Siblings: Our First Macrocosm

"At La Petite France"


Love After 70
“Statistic”


Play with Your Food
“Vending Machine”


Two Hawks Quarterly

"On the Cold Side of Things"


Modern Poetry Review

Sunset Scumbles the Ochre

Kayak's Hull with Bush




Held Together Arts