If you uncoiled me gently, tendril by tendril
(keep going, there are miles to go–and then a few more);
If you unspooled me tenderly,
down to the last ribbon of DNA,
sawed the last shreds of flayed protein in half
(wistfully, with infinite care);
If you stripped me of all matter,
down to the essence of nakedness,
I’ll tell you what you’d find”
a piece of the ultimate void
a glimpse at the boundless, all consuming zero
around which we wrap our lives,
a soothing emptiness, traversed without a trace
by the echoes of your own void.


Because it’s important to declare your intentions, here are mine for this one-semester sabbatical.

Sabbatical Intentions

I will write that book
and a couple of articles on the side – 
definitely the revise and resubmit—
and also
meditate every day
go to the gym
lose 20 pounds
get involved in the PTA
take the dogs to at least 5 state parks
go on a tropical vacation
clean the garage
and all the closets for that matter—
at any rate, the house will be spotless; 
go to the theater
rise early for morning yoga
read all the novels I wanted to catch up with—
binge watch All The Things,
learn to bake bread,
write my novel, 
learn a new language
also how to skate, and knit—
ponder deep questions
take up a hobby
redo the garden
go out with friends
reconnect with family,
do happy hour twice a week
go on hikes
and apple-picking trips,
finish that confounding puzzle
and that edited collection
and the 5 new course proposals
and a grant or two,
revamp all syllabi
and the personal website,
start a blog,
and, of course,