We learn to live without passion.
To be reasonable. We go hungry
amid the giant granaries
this world is.
– Jack Gilbert (“The Danger of Wisdom”)
Stark and efficient waiting room,
two plastic stick horses to occupy
children—one pink, one blue.
No ears, no eyes, no manes or tails,
seven smooth and hollow cylinders
molded to stand for a rider
or to wrestle out of the corner
back to the young hen
pecking on her cell phone.
No one seems to notice: not
the thin, distinguished gentleman,
not the gray goatee next to me,
not the woman in a shower cap,
nor the tight biceps in a T-shirt,
all pecking in fields beyond
the clatter and commotion
they ignore. Still fasting
and willing to pay in blood
to get along this far from home—
I want my coffee ready to ride
whatever goes right or wrong.