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Collected Poems (4d)

August 8, 2018

from An Ordinary World: Section, “Coffee Shop Poems”

We’ll Drink a Cup

Starbucks at Westfield NJ 1/1/00

10 a.m. after a night of champagne with family and friends. Nina still sleeping. My first latte, on the first Shabbas, of the Christians’ 3rd millenium and I’ve known somehow I was blockschreiber since I turned twenty and first heard of the “camps.” I’m reading the complete ms. of Stephen Herz’s Whatever You Can Carry so I’ll know what I’m sure from the sample I’ll “accept for publication.” The coffee is taking me back to Seattle mid 80s, and the selection of music through the pipe is superb in every genre, people around me sipping bleary in robustly quiet mood. No Y2K problems here, it seems. The Millennial Times and Time are optimistic for a global Web of our species, and so am I through the mist. But how many murdered could be opening the calendar this morning, smiling over black coffee? Such memories. Forgetting is dying, and even gods, gradually, lose their minds. I read Herz saying, “You were fifteen that day. / And I, a Jew born in America in 1929, / the same year you were born, Anne, / am seventy.” But what is “to live”? Knowing her voice. Holding his hand but he isn’t here. Faith is the going on without them, perhaps, at our sides. Only to look back and lose them again and again.

[Pages (4a), (4b), and (4c). Page CP (1).]

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