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This is How the World is Saved
I stand on the bridge
river rushing beneath my feet
headlong into the ocean.
The tide is full and
here under a cold night’s sky
I can see my own end so easily
which will come one day regardless.
Why press on under the burden of bills,
each day a new ache,
and the sea’s inevitable rising?
I remember you at home waiting for me
to bring the Chinese takeout for dinner,
potstickers, sweet and sour pork, white rice.
I remember the dusty bottle of red wine with the
French words on the label, sitting alone on the counter,
which your mother gave us on her last visit before she died,
to save “for a special occasion, a celebration.”
I remember the way your kisses came so freely
when we first met and warmed corners of
me no one else could reach.
I remember the little splash of cream left in the
red plastic container in the fridge,
perfect for a cup of coffee before bed.
I think of how a thousand lives are spared
by wine and kisses and cream every day.
And even though when I get home
the cream has turned
and you have turned from me as well
because dinner has grown cold
from my long diversion,
and I remember that bridge
again with longing,
I sit down to the table
and finally open
that bottle of wine
and pour myself a glass.