The Resonance of No
Yes, yes, we've heard. The dishwasher wastes less
and cleans better. But Kenkō believed in the beauty
of leisure, and how better to make nothing
while standing with hands in soapy water, thoughts
skipping from Miles Davis's languid notes to the spider
ascending to safe shelter under the sill (after I blow
on her to amuse myself), washing my favorite knife
and wondering if I should hone it, not to mention
my skills on the six-string or the potato peeler.
And if I linger at the plates, even the chipped one,
admiring their gleam after hot water rinses away
the soap residue, who could question the quick gulp
of ale or the shuffle of an almost-but-not-quite
dance step-or-stumble while arranging them on the
ribbed rack, back-to-back, in time to Coltrane's
solo. Then the forgotten food processor's blade
bites my palm, and I remember that I've outgrown
the dark suit, the cut branches still need bundling
and none of the words I've conjured and shaped
over decades and miles will extend their comfort
when I stand at my father's grave this week or next.
About the Author: Robert Okaji lives in Texas with his wife, two dogs and some books. He is the author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press), two micro-chapbooks from the Origami Poems Project, and a chapbook-length work "The Circumference of Other" included in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in High Window, Glass, Eclectica, Into the Void, Panoply,Otoliths,Kindle Magazine, Posit, Clade Song, Long Exposure and elsewhere. For more on Robert Okaji, visit his blog, O at the Edges.