Made of glass this morning,
I’m pleased that anyone can see
through me to the landscape beyond.
Being so fragile I take great care
walking up the post office steps,
and standing in line avoid
bumping old ladies clutching
parcels intended for grandkids.
The day sighs many great sighs.
It expects me to understand why
I’m made of glass this morning,
instead of rising in a fist
of stainless steel. The river
brims at the post office window.
It also is glass this morning.
If I stepped on it, tried to walk
its naked water, we’d collapse
into each other’s shy embrace,
subject and verb uniting.
I reach the window to buy a stamp
but the clerk looks right through me
to the next person in line.
I cough to get his attention
but something inside me cracks
and I have to step aside and clutch
myself to myself to avoid
shattering all over the floor.
I’ll mail my letter tomorrow
when I’ve reverted to simple flesh.
Today I’d better lie down somewhere
in the shade so I don’t start a fire.
Somewhere in the damp old forest
where no one will step on me,
my utter transparency
plain as an artist’s model,
too slick to exhibit shame.
William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His poetry, essays, reviews, and fiction have appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene
State College. His most recent books are A Black River, A Dark Fall, a poetry collection, and Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston. His website is williamdoreski.blogspot.com.