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LIZ DUBELMAN

The Perfect Mug

the_perfect_mug_now_a_vidlit

By Wendy Murray

Watch the VidLit: The Perfect Mug

Sunday

I drive an old car. It wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t that I went out looking for an old car as opposed to a new one that purrs with the power of a lawnmower.

I drive an old car because I had an old dog and a Volvo station wagon was the perfect shape for her to stretch out and look at the passing traffic.

The part of me that is British drinks tea every morning. Made in a tea pot, with loose leaf tea, with boiling water from my blue kettle. Whatever time I get up, the first thing I do is trot downstairs and fill the blue kettle with water and put it on the gas flame. The second trot downstairs is to warm the pot and drop in a spoonful of smokey tea, pop on the hand knitted tea cosy and go upstairs to finish with the shoes and the hairbrush and the toothpaste, before coming down to pour the properly steeped tea into a mug and head out into the world.

And this is where I come back to my old Volvo. In 1995, when my Volvo came rolling off the production line in Sweden, people had breakfast in their houses. No one bought water in bottles or double skim lattes in cardboard cups. In my Volvo there is the flimsiest of cup holders, which slides out from the armrest and would be hard pressed to hold an ice cream cone vertically.

ORBIT

 

By Cathy Colman

     The night sky. Like a living body
awake. Dead starlight
reaches us, eventually, unlike our beloved
dead. The stars
fall and you’re supposed to catch them.
The jigsaw puzzle
of constellations
disjointed without our mind’s fix and flex.

     And as these galaxies
expand away
from us faster than the speed of light, we are
lost here, in
the crabgrass, in the gutted
buildings of old business, the jolt
of wars and countries
stippled back and forth
with the nocturne-fire of weapons.

What I used to mean by hurt
is no longer what I mean.

          I have seen so many disappear.
Beneath weightless loam, oleander,
the cries of rooks. The priest
has locked the door to the church. He leaves
with newsprint on his hands.

      A world where nothing is clear.
For once I believe in nothing.
All the saliences lie quiet.
There must be a sanctuary I know nothing
about. In Nepal or underwater
in the Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile,

     the stars’ slow, divine decay, away from their mothers,
too, away from their sleepless blood,
the damage done so far back
all language becomes new

     stars with their tangled manes, their tilted chairs, their quivering bows–
I stand in the driveway at 2 am
looking up to find true north.
It’s my kind of prayer.