WHEN A CERAMIC MUG CHIPS
Noticing the chip in the sink,
it took a few heart beats
to discover its source
& mirror image in the pock
left on the lip of my coffee mug.
One of a pair, it had come free
years back, wrapped with the purchase
of a bottle of Myers’s Rum, whose colorful
likeness, together with fragrant
hibiscus, was depicted twice
around its white sides:
brown bottles sporting golden labels
whose pyramids of barrels
undisturbed, though a few palm fronds
& a patch of sky were missing. I could fit
the piece back—they sell glue that will mend
it perfectly—& forget anything was wrong.
Or I might chuck it like a broken doll
treating this small loss
with the guilty aggression
of waste & replacement that drives
our culture & economy. For now I’ll keep it,
& bring up the sharp edge to drink.
The author is a Ph.D graduate of SUNY Buffalo where he wrote his dissertation on working-class poetry. A former school bus driver, he has taught at universities in Ankara, Turkey; Seoul, South Korea; and Buffalo, NY, his native city where he studies French and is finishing his degree in Mathematics Education. Publications include At the Musarium, a chapbook of semi-procedural verse based on word frequency lists.