New poem: Mug


Answer me this about mugs:
why do some last years, and some only months?

I still have the one you got me,
white with a custom design:

photos you took of the village where you lived,
where we used to walk.

The river by day, the river by night.
The tree we called Myrtle, because that’s what it was.

The lifebelt in its stand, on which you used to sellotape quotations.
The buoy by the jetty.

And one photo that wasn’t yours –
you got it from the internet somewhere,

a dual image, at once a long red leaf
and a pair of sensuous lips,

no less human, no less inviting
for lying disembodied on the ground.

Unlike the painting you bought me
that I had to take down to stem the pain,

I never put the mug away, never stopped using it.
Granted, I like its size,

its feel in my hands,
but I have plenty of others

if I really wanted one.
Short of dropping it, I can never imagine chucking it:

even once it takes its fatal chip
it’ll take on a new life holding pens, pencils, a ruler perhaps.

This was our mug, it seems to me,
the mug was us.

So what is it now we are no more?
Is it still us?

No: I am the mug
for letting you go.


(c) Thoughtcat 2018