Her arms too filled with concessions
she fails to reach for the lifeline
—Damned slippery resuscitations!—
but finds consolation in her juggling:
when marble is cheap we die for linoleum,
we put our faith in cork,
we carry our idols in our pockets.
She shuffles polite lies and
redistributes her ideals
and reminds herself to
put lotion on her elbows.
Somewhere in her inside jacket pocket,
—near to her heart—
is a pocket knife
scratched by derisiveness,
chipped by disappointment,
and honed by a large sense of patience.
She wishes she could hold it in her hand
just at that moment
and feel the weight of it.
After all, absence makes the lines go skew.