Soup For One

by Carolin Messier

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Solitude is not loneliness.
It is a sacred place
of books
and photos with curled edges
steamed to the wall
by simmering broth

served in a single bowl
on a well-worn table,
bread crumbs
trailing across the boards
connecting thoughts and memories
plucked by songbirds’ beaks;

served in a single bowl
bought at the flea market in Munich
with a bike
that is still chained to a rail
near Kaffeehaus Altschwabing
because I lost the key;

served in a single bowl
packed across the Atlantic
and back,
four times at least,
that I hold to my lips and inhale
the portable comfort of home;

served in a single bowl
fashioned with hands on a wheel
in Japan,
glazed with a monk’s meditation
full of kindness and intention
that remind me to pause;

served in a single bowl
from the pressure cooker of my mind,
of stories
bubbling to the surface
waiting to be written,
waiting to be read.