THE BOOK OF MATERIALS
Performs its trick: to get smaller as it fills.
More a recipe book than mere concordance. All’s logged
there in its padlocked proportions: weight, density,
ease of repair. It’s meant to tweak our deepest hunches
for superinsulating aerogels, concrete cloth,
cost balanced perfectly against production.
But it’s published in paperback and gifted to say
your troubles will not always be your troubles.
Some read it to their kids; some plumb
it in a welder’s helmet of caution.
We’re taken aback to know the housefly
has a protein in its wafery wing
that makes the lightest and most flexible brace.
And that no matter the crosscut we elect to take
we’ll walk on an unchartable sea of rare metal.
Whole millennia are ground down and engrained
in the pulp like plant stalks that can be
transmorphed to burnable fuel. But it’s tough not to meddle.
Tough not to annotate it with rebuttals
while someone we’ve talked all we can talk to
buoys up from a widening pool of morphine,
says read me something, anything...
and so your thumb lets flap each treated page
that makes a quiet breeze of our many days.
From Safely Home Pacific Western (Goose Lane, 2015) by Jeff Latosik