Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don't mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
I could be the waitress
in the airport restaurant
full of tired cigarette smoke and unseeing tourists.
I could turn into the never-noticed landscape
So many so small go on day and night
under your feet you barely notice.
A big bang sounds like someone in the upstairs apartment
knocking over their refrigerator, and you ask,
Try to love everything that gets in your way:
the Chinese women in flowered bathing caps
murmuring together in Mandarin, doing leg exercises in your lane
My love plays piano and his foot hovers above the pedal.
Sustain, they call it when the note floats
like a basketball player suspended in air,
or a question whose purpose is to remain unanswered.
Consider the pigeons of the city,
how in their filthy swoop and dive they fatten
on dusty Dorito crumbs;
consider their evolution
The afternoon had a flu-like quality, gray and threatening to burst into tears at any moment, but I held it together like a grown-up, taught my classes, smiled at the children. I was in love with one little boy who couldn't write, not one idea in his