I have a bowl that comes
in two halves.
The outside is a webwork of cobalt blue;
the inside aglow with red enamel.
It is imitation china and the most valuable thing I own.
I hate that bowl.
I hate the soft curve of the ceramic. When I try to stack it with other bowls it clinks
and scrapes and screams.
I hate the cracks in the glaze -
crazing is what they call it -
that fracture the skin into a million little pieces.
I hate having the bowl. I hate having to carry it, but more than anything,
I hate all the times it turns up empty and begging.
I hate halving the bowl:
when I do, everything inside falls away.
Oh, it’s a fine bowl. Expensive,
probably. Probably took the potter good time to make. But I hate that bowl,
that human heirloom passed down through me.
I do love my forks. They pick and stab at things, picking,
picking with their ivory tines.
The fork is choice, the fork is action.
It holds nothing, takes everything,
runs it through
The forks are entirely my own; if I look closely I can see fingerprints
pressed into the metal. If I press even harder,
there is a shine deep inside, past the flesh of things.
The world is my oyster; I will dine on it gladly
(I’m happy just to take).
But I’ll never forgive the scraping
of fork against bowl
that comes when I
close my fist.