Like a fish trap woven from grasses, It allows passage of the element In which it is suspended.
Like the light at Lascaux, It is transparent And dissolves as salt does on the tongue.
A fragile filament of graphite Or three columbine seeds, Or a dime would tip the scales.
Rolled between your fingers, It crumbles like a dried sage leaf To fragrant dust wind disperses.
You wonder how such a small thing, Removed as if a mote from your eye, Could have caused such irritation.
Held in your palm, it is a smidgen, An iota, a whit, nothing A tear could not wash away. [End Page 43]
Eric Pankey’s ninth and tenth books are out in 2013: Trace (Milkweed Editions) and Dismantling the Angel (Free Verse Editions). He is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.