I Would Like

by Jane Hirshfield

I would like
my living to inhabit me
the way
rain, sun, and their wanting
inhabit a fig or apple.

I would like to meet it
also in pieces,
a conversation set down
on a long hallway table;

a disappointment
pocketed inside a jacket;
some long-ago longing glimpsed,
in the corner of a thrift store painting.

To discover my happiness,
walking first
then away from me
down a stairwell,
on two strong legs all its own.

the uncountable
wheat stalks,
how many times broken,
beaten, sent
between grindstones,
before entering
the marriage
of oven and bread—

Let me find my life in that, too.

In my moments
of clumsiness, solitude;
in days of vertigo and hesitation;
in the many year-ends
that found me
standing on top of a stovetop
to take down a track light.

In my nights’ asked,
sometimes answered, questions.

I would like
to add to my life,
while we are still living,
a little salt and butter,
one more slice of the edible apple,
a teaspoon of jam
from the long-simmered fig.

To taste
as if something tasted for the first time
what we will have become then.

Reprinted by Permission of the Author.

Read Jane Hirshfield’s newest collection of poetry Ledger, available for purchase online. (Note “I Would Like” is not included therein.)