--Athar C. Pavis
"Children are always disappointing,"
one friend announced.
And so are parents — expectations —
only the moment counts,
the "pointless meaningfulness of living,"
you say, and you are right.

The way the fish in rigor mortis
shine silver on the counter,
fruit overflowing in street markets,
figs bursting at the center,
the spectacle of their abundance,
seed-filled, in purple splendor.

Something about the saffron-colored
girolles piled up beside
eggplants, in polished black, and bulbous,
returns me to the world —
its cornucopia of things passing,
pointless, but what I need.

Because I want, despite the children,
disappointing or not,
this paean to the earth it raises
so many live without —
and every day a thing of beauty
I had not thought about.

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