how to boil an egg

November 20, 2007

If the egg is too fresh, then boiled,
it will not peel. If you drop the egg
into boiling water, it may crack.

I cannot tell you in minutes
seconds, beats of phoenix wings,
burning or emerged

or of cicada hearts,

how long your egg will take to set in the centre
or the soft ceramic white. So many things
will be brought to bear upon the outcome:

the pressure of the air beyond the pan,
the diet of the hen, her mood,
the moods of the gods,

whether a witch is whispering
outside your window, whether a black cat
furs your path in the morning

as the unbound yolk of sun
divides dawn clouds.

Whether the stars were pale the night before
or shifting through all the colours. Whether
you watched your body dance amongst the northern lights

like a flame seen through an insect’s wing.
So many things. But you can know,
and this I cannot teach you.