Sunday, April 15, 2012


Wear by Philip Booth

I hate how things wear out.

Not elbows, collars, cuffs;
they fit me, lightly frayed.

Not belts or paint or rust,
not routine maintenance.

On my own hook I cope
with surfaces: with all

that rubs away, flakes off, or fades
on schedule. What eats at me

is what wears from the in
-side out: bearings, couplings,

universal joints,
old differentials, rings,

and points: frictions hidden
in such dark they build

to heat before they come
to light. What gets to me

is how valves wear, the slow
leak in old circuitry,

the hairline fracture under
stress. With all my heart

I hate pumps losing prime,
immeasurable over-

loads, ungauged fatigue
in linkages. I hate

myself for wasting time on hate:
the cost of speed

came with the bill of sale,
the rest was never under

warranty. Five years
ago I turned in every

year; this year I rebuild
rebuilt parts. What hurts

is how blind tired I get.

Thanks to The Writers Almanac

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