Last night, when I woke at 4 a.m.,
I tried to calculate the amount
of wine I’ve consumed in my life,
a bottle a day for forty years,
then tried to reckon the mass
of empty bottles laid side by side,
stacked in the shape of a pyramid;
in the darkened room I imagined
the sun coming up and shining
through the blue and green glass,
the sunlight a fire blazing inside
each bottle, the towering pyramid
utterly radiant and eternally burning
in the desert of my mind, like a god.
I don’t like talking as much as I used to,
which I mean in both senses—
that I no longer enjoy “talking,”
and that I use fewer words,
averse to the few I manage.
Perhaps I am becoming more inward,
more solipsistic, that is, if one can become
more solipsistic; I mean, after all, solipsism
is a state of being, an either/or condition.
I mean, lately I feel that I’m the only one
who could possibly know what I mean
when I try to say something meaningful.
For instance, this morning at the coffee shop
(in what started in line as a casual
conversation about the weather),
I attempted to articulate the nuances of a thought
to a stranger, to share an epiphany’s lightning,
only to find myself—like young Keats—dying,
standing alone on the shore of the world,
letting all thought sink into nothingness.
Then the stranger in line asked, “What’s solipsism?”
Then the kid behind the counter said, “Sugar?”