Small Endeavors

Issue 3 | Summer 2019 |


There’s a man so willing to sell
alarm clocks—like a teenager focused
on sex—that he lets them buzz all day
on the sidewalk ledge
for the passersby.
I think, the batteries are draining.
I think, his wife, in one of these buildings
that surround us, crochets washcloths
and listens to the radio,
a cat at her calves.

They’ve found contentment
in small endeavors: the green yarn
on Tuesdays, the yellow on Thursdays,
the magical Korean batteries
that never seem to die.

Together after dark, they work
their budget on the back
of a Ziraat Bank calendar, 1983,
when people still used alarm clocks
and still went inside banks.
Then lentil soup and an hour
to wonder about the grandkids,
then separate beds with quilts
she also made, decades ago,
while he swept floors at the pencil factory.