The Amber Brooch
It's true that there are tears in things--
for instance, the brooch I bring
back from Kraków, which pricks
my fingertip the first time that I fix
it to my shirt.
And later, when I touch the clasp, my finger hurts
again. Some pains return.
Some tears turn
sepia with age, stubborn as the Baltic
or the resin dragonfly, an insect
that summons flight
in the very shape of its body. It lights
on my collar as if to wait
for breezes near the shore and hesitates,
the way I do, each time my hand remembers reaching
past garnets red as bee stings
to sort through amber at the vendor's booth.
In Poland, I held the proof
that there's an elegy in every hammered hinge and catch,
the lacy filigree, the closure that latches
like an entrance
to a tiny room, beauty and balance
sharpened to a point, the silver pin,
which leaves a spot of blood where it has been.
-Jehanne Dubrow (Mezzo Cammin)