Christian Wiman – I Don’t Want To Be A Spice Store

Christian Wiman

I don’t want to be a spice store.
I don’t want to carry handcrafted Marseille soap,
or tsampa and yak butter,
or nine thousand varieties of wine.
Half the shops here don’t open till noon
and even the bookstore’s brined in charm.
I want to be the one store that’s open all night
and has nothing but necessities.
Something to get a fire going
and something to put one out.
A place where things stay frozen
and a place where they are sweet.
I want to hold within myself the possibility
of plugging one’s ears and easing one’s eyes;
superglue for ruptures that are,
one would have thought, irreparable,
a whole bevy of non-toxic solutions
for everyday disasters. I want to wait
brightly lit and with the patience
I never had as a child
for my father to find me open
on Christmas morning in his last-ditch, lone-wolf drive
for gifts. “Light of the World” penlight,
bobblehead compass, fuzzy dice.
I want to hum just a little with my own emptiness
at 4 a.m. To have little bells above my door.
To have a door.