A reminder, now, in this the beginning of night,

your time of power,

that should another old woman call you useless,

as you scan the merchandise,

or some twelve-year-old with cracking voice

shout unkindnessnesses

as you pass on your bike

it will mean nothing —

for still, in nights like these,

you may sit, as you do now,

gently licking brownie batter off of a spoon

as jasmine blooms outside

and the day waits to hatch

from the warm and thoughtful

night. Will an unkind word

steal the scent of jasmine? Will it

dull the taste of chocolate? Will it

kill you? No?

Then go on, my love:

go on. There are yet fruits