by Andrea L. Alterman

Sweat the small stuff,
the teaspoon of oregano needing to be stirred
into tonight’s beef stew,
where to toss the extra throw pillow
purchased at half price, on a whim
and of a different pattern than the other four,
worry in excess how to respond when a doubtful friend
offers to buy your morning coffee –
is this a sign,
like your first unresolved quarrel,
that one of you will say ciao
in the nicest way, of course –
and sweat still more over what you never can say,
how often you want a nanosecond to stretch
into a moment, elongate further to two minutes,
time enough to focus and react
before the scent of basil in tomato sauce
vanishes, subsumed into the oregano which
began the entire moment you have
spent obsessing about the sweat you expend.

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