February 9, 2008

for Charles Simic

Pick it up and hold it
to the light —
a repository of dust,
hair and lipstick.

An old cigar butt’s
capsized in the bottom.

Nonetheless, the glass
retains its shape,
like a stately matron.

Dump it out
(salvaging the butt),
rinse it, twirl it
once on a cloth,
and look! how Clarity
Rides Again.

Raise it now in a toast
to Friendship,
and observe,
deep in the amber booze,
the old bright planets

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