On my coffee mug,
girl & dog.
I saw myself in her,
when I was a woman fallen overboard,
I was a ball of string
unwinding right down to the speechless bone.
I shall be this girl, I decided, not thinking it was anything more than a wish.
I shall have a border collie like this one, too,
named Bosco, because...well, because of a certainty I could not have explained.
He will be mine alone,
unlike my spouse,
unlike my child,
unlike anything I do or say or move through, now.
When the one who would soon enough trade me for madness asked,
"What are you thinking?",
I said, "I am thinking I will grow my hair long."
Girl & dog on my mug have faded;
alone among them all, this one has lost its paint,
and gone faint.
The company stopped making the tea it came with,
and I have gone back to coffee, and my own skin.
Look at me, long-haired, though it is going to silver;
look at me alone, back to being the poet,
and look at the black and white friend at my feet.
I made my life from a five dollar mug.
It's gone to white while I am a vivid red,
waved in front of the world like a dare.