by John Estes
Perhaps, after all, it is merely a desire
to use the word thanatopsical—
but if you can wash or handle
artifacts like this blue
tea mug, carried from Crete as a gift
from a friend, or this nacreous
a honeymoon souvenir
bought in a now-defunct artists'
shop in Colorado, or
this antique Chinese mudman
carrying his sponges
and fish from a day at the pier,
without a pathological
fixation on the day you will stumble
and drop it, or smack it
against the sink divider or brush
it with a hand reaching
for the letter opener, you are junzi:
a superior person, as Confucius had it.
You probably make love
to your spouse without imagining
betrayal and pay taxes
because you think nothing
in truth belongs to you.
They invented the earth for people
like you, and then salted it.
please note: photo by jon.noj