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 Michael H. Levin: Poems and Prose  

STUFF

Volumes on shelves

tightly packed spine to spine


more on the floor

stacked up cobwebbed besides


files on my desk,

by the door, stuffing drawers


space occupied

overflowed mustified


in each cupboard

or rack, every cabinet wall


by stale thoughts, old effects

artifacts gathering dust.


Possessions! -- it’s clear

they possess us instead


collect multiply

extend their domain


however we winnow

whatever consign


re-form their battalions

weigh on our minds


like the pumice

that rained down Vesuvius Day


entombing past lives

in those scenes from Pompeii.


So here’s to the stuff

we never can lose


this gear that surrounds us

this crypt we don’t choose.

Version first published in May Day: An Anthology for International Worker's Day (Moonstone Press, May 2021)

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