THINGS THAT (EASILY) BREAK
after Jamaal May
Your mother’s good china.
The dozen eggs you hauled home, no mind
to the rain-soaked, oil-slicked road
or your knack for falling (on the ground
and apart). A cell phone
screen when you have a tiled bathroom,
high counters, and a kitten.
The clavicle. Rules, especially
when they’re stupid rules, like when
you’re a kid and they say
No talking! or No running down the ramp!
as if not flying by like a windswept
baby wipe is easy. As if you’re not a bird. As if.
Sticks when you step on them. Sunglasses.
and wine glasses. Have you heard
of a dinner party where not even a single
The ice. When things are right.
Day, how it breaks open, how it shatters
the night with sunrays, splits you
from your sleep, pierces your eyes with blades
of light. A fast when there’s pancakes.
Garden-ripened tomatoes. Wet
paper bags. The lazy coworker
in the next cubicle. Your word. Mirrors.
Don’t even get me started on headphones.
Or hearts. An umbrella, but only
when the rain pours,
only when the wind wails,
only when you need that shelter.