When a fine, old carpet
is eaten by mice,
the colors and patterns
of what's left behind
do not change.
As bedrock, tilted,
its purple and red striations unbroken.
Unstrippable birthright grandeur.
"How are you," I asked,
not knowing what to expect.
"Contrary to Keatsian joy," he replied.
The Kind Man
I sold my grandfather's watch,
its rosy gold and stippled pattern
to be melted.
Chain—there must have been one—
Its numbers painted
with a single, expert bristle.
I touched the winding stem
before I passed it over the counter.
The kind man took it,
what I'd brought him as if to the Stasi.
He weighed the honey of time.
TODAY IN SLATE
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