Second and third chances, fourth and fifth:
the lazy susan of the world turning one more time,
the offers coming slowly, going slower. You hammered out one tune
and now it plays back, slowed to mournful. Oh dear
if only I had known, when that brightness was flaring
how very deep and lasting was the dark,
would I have caught my wrist, held back my hand?
I think not: that wisdom isn't dealt to such as us.
Here is the lingering surprise of turmeric,
its hidden bite, its lasting stain: here is the old
sweetness of tarragon, the wistfulness of rosemary;
here is the sourness of chili past its date.
If I hesitate, if the rice vinegar and the Worcestershire
swap queens, and play resumes, is it any wonder
that my powdered fingers and my dizzy nose
are pawned again to hope?