A Charmed Life
She spent her days collecting ordinary things.
There were the sounds of doors closing:
creaks, bangs, almost inaudible clicks.
There were lost shirt buttons, record player needles,
jar lids which no longer fit.
There were left-winged birds flying in circles.
Remarkable how many people
wore socks with holes, belts without punches,
hats with animals balancing on the brim.
She knew the sizes and positions of a city’s worth
of tattoos. She understood the rhythm
and rhymes of her local mews.
She studied the pace of eyelash growth,
the length of time it took a spider to spin a web
or photos to yellow. She calculated
the chances of objects falling from dinner tables,
counted the dog-eared pages from her library,
measured the thinness of a chided face.
She felt a single mattress hidden in a pile of peas,
ate the bread crumbs left by German kids,
woke up a sleeping woman with a single kiss.
In her daily marathon, her heels
were her greatest strength. And no matter how
many mysterious boxes she unlocked or fire she stole,
the world still gladly bore her on its shoulders.