The cat at my elbow is like a rising—and falling—loaf of bread.
She will become cinnamon-raisin swirl.
Across the way, white shutters over dark red brick glow in the early light.
In long intervals, cars swoosh by through a sprinkling of spring.
This fine first cup of coffee is not bitter-sweet, just bitter.
It smells like the morning I knew I’d move away to the lake.
These computer keys are smooth and reflexive and move me into today.
Their dainty clicking prompts the flickering I’ve been seeking.
Another time it was Thoreau re-counting his beans from Walden Pond.
Meanwhile, the cat has become a multi-grain muffin,
her batter expanding over the paper cup, malignant
mushroom looming over a city soon-to-be our ally.
Though the friendly fire is frightening,
it will bring us the happy ending as always.
Happy is as happy does.
The pealing bell of freedom will deafen any outrage,
for we are as open as a Good-Friday tomb.
We will mend the crack and roll away the stone.
The prophet schlepping his satchel and silly redundancies
will forever find his satisfaction in cynicism,
his cynicism to be satisfactory, his satchel alone to be sacred.
No matter—in this he is going to get what he’s going to deserve.
Il va obtenir ce qu’il va meriter.
whether the cat tips her top or the shutters mutter a percussive tune.
Look: as the sun blooms, the bricks bleed.
D.R. Jamesís first book is Since Everything Is All Iíve Got (March Street Press), and his three chapbooks are A Little Instability without Birds and Lost Enough (Finishing Line Press) and Psychological Clock (Pudding House). He lives in Holland, Michigan, where he has been teaching writing and literature at Hope College for 28 years.