The Thing Is

What is the difference between objects and things?

Things, I think, have less personality.

These days, all objects are antiques—hearken back to an era of hands handling them.

Playing cards, wooden matches, buttons, plush stuffed bears—we recognize them from the still lifes where they once quivered.

They were—are—tools, curios, refugees from the modernist era.

Of course, we still have these things. But now they are like us, just things.

They no longer celebrate their secret identity—the inner life once bequeathed upon even objects.

They are a bit featureless. One thing not so different from another.


From The Intangibles. Copyright © 2019 by Elaine Equi. Used with the permission of the author.

About this Poem

This poem appeared in the Re:Print section of American Poets, Fall-Winter 2019.