Linda Dove

In Defense of Objects (I)

An object…makes infinity private.
—Joseph Brodsky, Watermark


Unlikely winters: San Francisco and its trolley
car stuck in snow, Bangkok blizzard white.

Flakes shake to life, bright and insular. Cities
fade in the blur of a handmade storm.

Despite the dizzying effects, the eye rests
there, at home in beauty’s small arcade.

No sirens sound, no police sew their yellow
threads to streets. The past collects

on souvenirs, turning kitsch to treasure.
When the Wedgwood knife falls

to the floor, shards of blue shed like tears.
Yet the eye is safe here, in pieces.

The Christmas ball shatters to an inner life
of mirrors. It’s what confounds the mendicant:

the object’s pull, the need for pockets to keep
stuff in. What amounts to wonder lurks in things,

whole or broken, near, as distant as the gray
gargoyle where the eye’s balloon comes to rest.

Rusted keys, horseshoe, rust itself, color of burnt
sienna. The word itself: burnt sienna.

Petals pool beneath a tree. In morning light,
the snow globe glows like a translucent papoose.