[burn the coffee, the potatoes…]

burn the coffee, the potatoes, then skin nectarines as you wander the town
end over end       grace the accordion playing & grace its player for he is a mirror       grace
be the tragedies large & small, buildings & broken heels
      to step from the young cashier &
through the doors in Tübingen means you burn a match, your lips, & the smoke curls
your legs       grace the silver flask & awkward veil, her third fitting of the week       grace of course
the jumper jumping through this history
      you peel, you save each label from the boxes
you smoke       surely grace the firemen, the policemen       the broken nail as chord, evenly graced
wedding & funeral equally
      so misfed & green gone south on a dead-end street


Michael Robins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ladies & Gentlemen (Saturnalia Books, 2011) and In Memory of Brilliance & Value (Saturnalia Books, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. For more information, visit www.michaelrobins.org