A photo of blue-tinted clouds in a blue sky
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON / MAGNUM

Attention

A poem for Sunday

All day, the world makes its demands. There’s so much of it, world,

begging to be noticed. Two seconds past dreaming, the cat’s there kneading
claws into my chest, a truck outside coughs, and a buzz alerts me to the newest
dispatch of love. The beginning of devotion, the poet said, and I devote myself to  

everything, I try to be
fair—to the kettle’s fussy squall, and the eggs’ expiration date, the amassed
garbage and mail in domiciliary limbo by the door, I espy the top

headlines, the top of my feed, trending topics and the occasion for today’s
irascible flock, injudiciously I devote myself to a grade-school acquaintance’s Facebook
jeremiad, the entirety of a former paramour’s mawkish engagement shoot, cringey
katzenjammer of a comments section, and then an insurgence of morning

lacquers my screen, vagary of sun, with lapidary clarity
motes glistering by the window, water illumed in a jar, I
note the branches’ meek wave, flag of the leaves, the jays jostling at the feeder like boys

obvious in their need to be seen, the squirrels’ and shadows’ territorial
performances, petunias and progeny in yards vibrant as advertisements, even the sky turning
quintessentially bluer when observed—but I can’t keep up, my own body

raucous for acknowledgment, pruritic and palpitating, frenetic, ultrawhelmed
sensorium, my self  

taxed with being a self, brimming with living’s rowdy mechanics and disruptions
unremitting, a thought flits by, then another (an unpaid bill, a jingle’s tenacious refrain)—and,
votary of the sublunary, the proximate, any moment’s evanescent

welter, I attend, as best I can, neophytic  
exalter of the ordinary and all-around, henotheist  
yielding to the most persuasive god, the most recent, to each thing I say Yes? Yes!
zealot of whatever calls me next.