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The Mourning Rituals


The morning rituals:

Water set to boil,

The coffee measured out in spoonfuls,

Paper filters folded in half -

Because we ran out of the right ones.

It satisfies me to improvise,

To make do with less;

I wonder if there's less than this,

Less than this, I whisper

Quietly to myself.


Cat is out back

Lounging in a square of sunlight.

I open the window and meow,

Startling cat awake -

Go out to fill its bowl

As cat meows and hisses at me.

No one ever taught you how

To show proper gratitude,

I say to myself.

Then meow and hiss back


The water is boiling.

I remove it from the base

Letting it cool down some

So as not to make the coffee bitter.

Then pour it over the cone,

Adjusting my flow in

To equal the flow out.

A perfect slurry,

I say out loud to no one

And then I also add a meow.


I stir in a spoonful of sugar,

Then a spoonful of cream,

Watching the Milky Way

Spin in endless night,

Endlessly fascinated.

Never tiring of this part of my life,

Marveling like a child

At the simple daily events.

I am a child,

I think out loud.


It pleases me to bang

My spoon rhythmically around

The mug's interior listening

For the distant bell from the Monastery

And the ancient bell of the ox.

Then I hear her say, Jesus!

From the other room.

You're gonna miss this ringing

One day after I'm gone,

I say out loud.




28 May 2018