“The Story I Need”

after a line by Ricardo Molinari

Ah, if only the village were so small,
I could look into others’ windows by
looking into my own cupped hands

to see what steams on their
plates, or read the spines of books
on their shelves, all those lives

to open one at a time. I might hold
the history of civilization a little closer
to my own small history — bread
passed down from the centuries, leather boots
on flagstone, couples’ first words

in the morning — not for the privacies
but as proof of the way buildings hold the countless
small movements of words and bodies
through space, and the feeling

that I, too am drying the cups and putting them away
or sitting at the tavern, a chessboard
open between me and the oldest inhabitant

or joining a family at their picnic on the green,
unable to distinguish myself from
the murmuring parents and noisy siblings
gathered around the cheese and pears they
have chosen to set on the bright cloth,

beside the people they are unaware they have
chosen to braid into their hearts and their
days, in a world of possibilities.

Printed from Cerise Press: http://www.cerisepress.com

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