The drink might kill me: I don’t care.
I type a word, I tilt my tone of voice
to reach someone I think will need it.

There’s so little concrete here:
a black keyboard, my stubbled jowls,
dishwasher churning tides inside itself.

“Be the river and the boulder
in the river.” Stole it from a friend.
He wants to know what happens after death.
Which means he’s wondering how to live.

Last night, three couples on the deck:
strong beers, champagne, and birthday cake:
we’re in our 60s, so we think we know
a portion of the world
(and some of us think bigger).

Money makes a difference,
but that warm space between the ears,
where love or winged compassion shelters,
it’s a universe, and we flock there.

Thomas Zimmerman teaches English and directs the Writing Center at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has taught English at the high school or college level since the 1980s and has edited The Big Windows Review,, since 2011. Tom’s website: