The Demon of Possessions

Ah, these things of ours!
no matter how we grab and grip and grasp them,
have them and hold them,
dust and polish them,
fondle, hug, worship and idolize them, they refuse
to love us back.
They can hide, but they can't run:
what kind of consolation is that?

They have their only births and lives and loves and deaths
through our caresses
on their way from the oil rig or the stripmine
to the landfill
and still they abandon us the instant we grow attached to them,
it seems,
leaping to shatter on the kitchen floor,
jumping ship at the gas station
six hundred miles from home,
vanishing through the laundry vortex into the dimension
next door—

Yet almost every thing we own was once alive, even the plastic
in the longago Paleolithic
when the dinosaurs roamed,
the cement in ancient living skeletons
long crushed to limestone, the paper
in the fibers of a hardwood tree that stood for sixty years,
and all of it—
every one of the machine-made artifacts
that clutter our stacked concrete caves—
all came
from the same leaky star-stuffing we came from ourselves

the law of gravity is all our so-called belongings really respect,
sitting wherever they're set
down, the same dumb loyalty
transferred from their rightful
if not completely paid up owner
to any common thief, or
if no one wants them
resting content like so many meditating Buddhas in the weeds,
resigned to cobwebs and rust
as if it was
plate glass and floodlights . . .
"Maybe we should all try to be more like our favorite
," whispers
the demon of possessions
inside the forty-dollar love seat
at the flea market