Summer 1998 • Vol. XX No. 3/4 Poetry |

Breaking the Jug

I held the gallon jug in my right hand, One finger curling into its mouth like a question, And I hurled it at the wall. It had a decent heft, The unsurprising sense of a thing as it is. It was not a beautiful jug, or old, No more valuable than the jug we break Whenever we open our eyes. A little wine roiled in the bottom, Stoically concealing the past, That snare of meaning and of love. The jug floated like a small green cloud, Ruling the apartment's gray, bare sky. When it touched the wall There was a moment when its axis And the gigantic axis of the world Crossed for the last time, like swords. Its cheap seam glinted tragically. But things are always ready for this cue, And the jug blew apart under the impact of laws That flood out into life. The shards of glass And drops of wine scattered like a busted paradise, Searching out slovenly equations of gravity and momentum Where they could come to a mosaic rest. The room was bathed in the continuing light Of an afternoon. As shado

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