One of our kitchen windows is over the sink and one afternoon as I was scrubbing a pan, a larger-than-usual bubble lingered on my finger— brilliant, colorful in the sun’s rays— and lasted so long, I actually thought about it off and on for the rest of that day. A guiding principal in my writing life is that if I remember something like that, it’s asking to show up in a poem and as I continued to think about it, I recalled hearing someone say a long time ago (it might even have been a stand-up comic) that in the infatuation of a new relationship, both people are blinded by the best of themselves and each other; then about six months in, the two real people show up. Humor notwithstanding, as these two notions began taking shape together, a third one—beauty and its ephemeral nature—attached itself.
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These seemingly disparate thoughts were the genesis of “Bubble.” They led me to consider the moment when events are about to shift— the test as to whether something will last—or burst. A bursting might occur by exhaling: literally, as in breathing a bubble out of existence, or figuratively, as in revealing oneself a step too far which can potentially end another’s interest. Whatever makes the shift, in attempting to convey it, the delight of metaphor gives us poets a way to help shape the ineffable. The key is a combination of actions: first, to notice; next, to allow what’s noticed freedom to expand; and finally, to work at giving it voice.