There is a word, glassine
vitreous, pristine
the texture of tranquility
reality beyond the mean.

I run my hands within
my mind along what’s smooth
and hear the gentle commerce
of approaching worlds.

The biofilm that seals us
each within our sequences
and scenes of tenderness
and grief
is pervious, but only on
the surface, dimpled,
and of momentary worth.

It’s when I seek to justify
myself and those around me—
reckless provocation—that
the shattering reduces
to a billion sparks
and thence a billion more.

When I decide,
when I decide and no one else
that chase has lost its savour
and allow the ripples their descent
and play with gravity,
my recollection of the word
I opened with is swift
and all becomes
where I begin again:


© Elaine Stirling, 2016