Autobiography—As a Vase

The New Republic

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BOOKS OCTOBER 22, 2008

Autobiography—As a Vase

Like porcelain thrown before birth--
both shattered and sensing the glue.

Complete, but already crazed with breaking.
Someone polishes it on the mantle.

Someone is trying to put it back
together. Someone is watching

it fall. Someone was the hand,
the air. Someone is the moment

when damaged is a fact but the shape
remains. Someone is that sudden

injection of space, that collapse. Someone
is the pieces, the dustpan, the glue.

Someone is the worklight, the patience,
the room. Someone meant for this to happen.

Someone has to decide: repair or dismiss.
It happens all at once. It happens forever.

 

In this story you can be everything
and everyone except unbroken.

 

 

This poem originally ran in the October 22, 2008, issue of the magazine.

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