Risk Management Memo: Wear and Tear

by Mary Biddinger

I want to be new again
so I can do all the same things
again, with the bricks set back,

lawn in its last minutes, we never
think of these things leaving us
but they leave us. We know

the train we're on will end
at a log station in Wisconsin,
all of our clothes in paper bags,

only books with old covers,
forget new ones, we're staying
forever we thought, it was back

when we were magnificent, or
didn't know otherwise. The best
way was to bury ourselves in

small rocks the size of peas.
You understood why I loved
the story of stone soup, because

it was all lies, and I believed
something was nothing. Just
figure in the weight of salt

generated by one angry brow.
It's the belly of the candle
that does all the flickering.

That's not true either, please
bring back the cat that cut
my chin with her back claw.

Swing my suitcase like a warm
rifle into a lake. Who needs
a real ceiling when both parties

tuck their own limitations into
bed? Our structures already so
unsound. We could not abide

the sharp pilings of sleet
you collected in your copper
frying pan, and we both ate.