My house burned down a month ago, so today
I walked to the bookstore and bought myself
a dictionary, a Bible, and a calendar.
What else does one need, really? For Malvolio,
in that dark cell, it was candle, paper, and ink.
That was his sacred trinity by which he could
be sane again—or at least be proven so.
Me, I need to make sure of the meanings
of words, then to invest them with holiness,
and then to know when I might use them
(or utilize them, as an administrator would say).
On Monday, February 2, I plan to employ perspicacious.
Then, on Easter, resurrection is scheduled
for its grand debut. And so on. I’m saving horror
for Halloween, and thanksgiving for Thanksgiving.
Among poets of old, this was known as decorum.
Proper words in proper places. On the anniversary
of the fire, I will simply say, damn.