friday 26 november 02004 7:47am
the ninety-nine beautiful names of god

second-hand black cast iron pot
fancy grease-stained stainless steel kettle
wooden spoon
fiddle
flute

pale rose silk pajamas
lace-trimmed sheer white silk dressing gown
unwieldy organic unbleached cotton kimono
socks

scratchy bar of oatmeal soap
almond lavender liquid soap
sesame oil
almond oil
lavender oil
jasmine oil
sweet orange oil

sage
flame
shell
stone
bone
leaf
blossom
bud
bulb
dried up old husk of something unrecognizable
bit of bright green moss
flame-shaped hunk of moss
spanish moss

staghorn fern
mother’s fern
philodendron
orchid
amarylis
narcissus
ivy
maidenhair fern

spider
hairball
dried up old cherry tomato that rolled under the sideboard

basil
potato
celery
tart green granny smith apple
fat thumbprint cherry tomato
double-fisted turnip
wilting beet greens
fresh crisp spinach that jason picked on tuesday
pumpkin

ice
oven
door

window
window
window
window

sky framed by window
redwood framed by window
mountain framed by window

dawn in the bedroom
sunrise in the windows of the houses on the hill
sunset in the kittycorner kitchen windows
sunset over the mountain from the bay studio window

the full moon setting behind the tower on the mountain
james waking me to see it
james on the back porch photographing it in the middle of the night
james

his bathrobe
his white shirt
long black hairs in the bathtub in the bed in my clothes

once
on a train to sacramento while he was on a plane to hawaii
each of on our way to a wedding
i found a piece of his hair
on my favorite black bloomers
and i tied it around my wrist
and wore it there
all weekend

it scuffed the tiny hairs of my wrist and whispered
james
james
james
james

leopold the fat tabby maine coon yowler lover belly-hanging snuggler
oceana the tiny kernel in the bright halo of fluff, sharpest softest

and me

green jadeite mug from grandma
round olivewood tea scoop from sara
great-grandma’s shearling hat
grandma’s doilies
james’ grandmother’s quilt
great-grandma’s china
the antique haircatcher that sat on mom’s dresser when i was small
mom’s big twig basket that a carload of deadheads drove for me from new work to california ten years ago when i couldn’t fit it in the moving box
and they delivered it
light-colored basket i found on the street

card catalog from the old main library
medicine cabinet i found on the street
sideboard that came with the house

fork
knife
mirror
blanket
pillow
bed

and sleeping softly
james
james