A poem


Deadly germs, my mother believed,

live in cracks – particularly those gracing

diner and five & dime dishware. Sent

back, to my mortification,

any food, liquid or solid, served

in a cup or on a plate marred

by the tiniest hairline fracture.


So no surprise I’m driven to ditch

the patched, the darned, the scotch-

and duct-taped, to intercept

unsent messages, comb through books

for missing pages, suppress

aborted dreams, memories riddled

with the unresolved, for now


I, too, see menace lurking

in every fissure, extend that obsession

to the ungrammatical – the comma splice,

dangling participle, anacoluthon –

long to caulk the crevices

between floor and door, door

and frame, shudder at the split seams

in our world views, rifts in relationships,

leaks sprung in vessels consecrated

to our holiest beliefs.