John Armstrong



When I was young and consolable
and sometimes ill in bed
there was comfort in the clink of icecubes
grinding, bobbing together in a glass of water

Now that I am older and not so easily comforted
a glass of water is not some vast Greenland sea
edged and grating with icebergs, a seascape
too pure for microbes,
but merely two gasses in a glass
a volume and a mass

Still of course a bounded seascape
but above the meniscus membrane of this treacherous
ocean’s circular surface, there now blows a typhoon of instability,
with molecules of H2O lurching free from the mother sea
panting upwards into sublimation,
and aliens from the air
tincturing the wellspring water,
pressing their runny noses against the glass
looking out at me with the flat nonseeing eyes
specially adapted for all organisms untroubled by a conscience.

Now only one thing is for certain:
you cannot drink from the same glass of water twice.


 Gary Michael Dault, August 3, 2000