the religion of poetry

my world is placed between a pen
and paper – words, symbols, numbers,
punctuation – creating meaning
from strings and strands of strokes
made into letters. i breathe poetry,
absorb its beauty into my pores,
live to hear the sounds of unmetered
verse said aloud in backrooms
of restaurants: the constant din of steel
ovens slamming shut and line cooks
abbreviating orders into a shorthand
only staff understands. i exist to smell
the noxious gasoline from a chain station,
and to taste the salt in humid summer air.
my muse enjoys the slink of a silk negligee
over freshly waxed thighs – touch to tease
my writer's fancy. my eyes dwell on men
shaking umbrellas in doorways, and all
these details, trite to folks unfamiliar
with the magic of the word, sparkle,
true faith for a poet, for a woman
attached to the describing of unevents
turned into the grandest of occasions.