The Calculus of Modern Life
Impose a grid onto the world.
Become accustomed to the wonted ways
of right angles, habitué of metered
streets and hearts.
Rule off hours, weeks, years.
Mark the incremental signs: milk teeth
of Spring giving way to
Winter’s stale and noisome breath.
Equate the columns of time, money, and love.
Take the mean of their sum
and wrap yourself with its silk blanket
in the house of someone else’s dreams.
Place the remainder – joy –
in the pocket of your blue jeans
to be drawn out like spare change
drabbled into a beggar’s cup.