In the definition, we had reason to believe
was the fortuitousness of history.
Who has not filled a cookie jar
with a conglomeration of old coins,
pockets-full of pennies, put away for another season,
and in the hustle-bustle-comings-goings-
meanderings of our lives, forgotten
their whereabouts; even their existence?
Intention, a heightened awareness of oneself
only rarely plays a part. A step backwards.
And one may then examine objectively
all those years of collecting:
Some rare cynosure, for example,
to which one returns repeatedly.
There is there an almost religious sense,
an awe that one may possess, perhaps, a coin
with an image of the Cretan Labyrinth,
or a seal that some Sumerian nobleman
utilized to ensure the privacy of his correspondence.
Small objects. Actually, a museum of one’s own.
But it is the discards: the flotsam and jetsam of civilized society
that more appropriately surrounds, like some special article
of clothing: an outfit of occasion
never again needed, and now hangs,
as if dispirited, in total alienation,
just taking up space in the far
dark recesses of a cedar closet.
It is that which now assumes a most prominent position
in our armamentarium, an ornamentation about which
one may shrug, but shrug in vain,
for it is that part of you
you may not ever completely, complacently disengage.
So be it. In the aftermaths of our society,
it is this that will come to haunt
our descendants with its significance.