Damon McLaughlin
Empty Vessel

Either way, a glass has no theory
on itself "except to say it understands"
thinking in terms of space, of which it is a reservoir.

Along its rim, atoms like cats falling over
and over in love with jeans, with corners, and like cats,
a glass has no idea what it’s up against.

You raise it, and it pours into you something pure,
though its surface smudges
with lipstick and skin, as if a cloud passed

and left its shadow there. If a glass shatters,
it is no worse off. It regards death
in terms of exchange and slides into your heel

where a part of you escapes, unaware of the whole
it no longer belongs to, that there is less of you
and more of itself than ever.