THE VERY LONELY MAN CLEANS AN END TABLE

The very lonely man is trying
to make his new apartment nicer
with a glass end table.

As he sets it on the ground outside
by the pool- to clean it-
the tabletop shatters,

not into large, manageable pieces,
but rather, into diamond-like
particles that turn his hand

into a bloody mess as he picks them
up one by one because
he’s new here, and doesn’t have a broom.

He thinks about how it’s forty degrees
where he’s from, and also
how they’re planning ahead.

Cool the air down, suck some
carbon out of the atmosphere,
and he’s wondering about his faults.

He wonders what he actually
wants to do when he’s done,
as if he could ever answer that question.

Being this lonely is new for him:
he dreams of cobblestone streets
and Mardi Gras.

No one blames the very lonely man.
He doesn’t want to take the glass
as a sign. He won’t.

Or maybe, something positive:
That when you break the whole
you may not have an end table,

but you get a chance to sit outside
and get a closer look at the ground.

You may cut your hands up,
but you get a better sense
of going slow.

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