Friday, March 4, 2011

perishable, it said



.

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Perishable, it said on the plastic container,
and below, in different ink,
the date to be used by, the last teaspoon consumed.
.
I found myself looking:
now at the back of each hand,
now inside the knees,
now turning over each foot to look at the sole.
.
Then at the leaves of the young tomato plants,
then at the arguing jays.
.
Under the wooden table and lifted stones, looking.
Coffee cups, olives, cheeses,
hunger, sorrow, fears—
these too would certainly vanish, without knowing when.
.
How suddenly then
the strange happiness took me,
like a man with strong hands and strong mouth,
inside that hour with its perishing perfumes and clashings.
.

~ Jane Hirshfield

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