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A poem by Nicholas Laughlin

Published in The Strange Years of My Life

A Legend

In the cup of milk that spills at the wrong man’s feet,
I am in those minerals, those sugar chalks,
those blind potassiums. I am those balms
that spill for the wrong man. I am that honey
buried in the ground and baked in rock,
and permanent. If you believe
in the geological patience of bees,
how long it takes to build a planet,
how long it takes to put away the hydrogen
to build a sun. If you believe
the job of bees is not to bury honey.
The job of a sun is not to make light
but to burn itself out.
The job of milk is to swallow sugar,
and spill itself at some man’s feet,
extravagant. If you believe
it is always the wrong man.
But I am those balms.



Read more poems by Nicholas Laughlin