Water drop. Clink of a bottle. Crumb

From yesterday’s guttering candle.

Hieroglyphs of grain in a cup,

Oblong bubble in the loaf

He tears apart. Sooner or later, it all

Adds up: profligate seeds studding

A split fig, infinitude in a jot of jam,

Pyramid in a crystal of salt.

He will put a few olives in a bowl,

Lift a lump of cheese from a barrel

Of brine, discover a spring

In the shadow of Aetna’s crater

Muttering the riddle of one and many,

Substance unchanging, never at rest.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 4, on page 44
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