Yesterday it appeared to me in the form of two purple
elastic bands round a bunch of asparagus, which was
a very small happiness, a garden variety, nothing like
the hulking conversation crosslegged on a bed we had
ten years ago, or when I saw it as a thin space in a mouth
that was open slightly listening to a friend pinning them
with an almost-cruel accuracy; the sense of being known 
making a space in their mouth that was happiness.
There was the happiness of my mother as we sat on
a London bus, her having travelled alone to visit her son,
and she seemed more present which might have been
the luggage I was carrying for her that weighed heavy
as her happiness, or was her happiness. It is rare you see
a happiness so nut-like as that which we permit my
father to pass around when he is talking sentimentally,
embarrassing us all. And of course, the goofy ten gallon
hats of happiness that children plant on us everytime
they impersonate knowledge. Or when I am standing on
a step breathing it in and out, staying death and the deadness
that comes after dying, sighing like a song about it. Or
privately with you, when we’re watching television and
everyone else can be depressed as rotten logs for all we care,
because various and by degrees as it is, we know happiness
because it is not always usual, and does not wait to leave.

first published in The Moth, © Jack Underwood 2015, used by permission of the author.

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