I dipped my core in varnish,
a fresh coat —
glossy and sticky
from the morning’s work, applied in strips over breakfast and coffee stains,
tested with a cautious finger, gentle nails picking out stray fluff
that might get sealed in air-bubbles, where it best not be,
before descending into windy streets and people dust.
By lunchtime, every knock blemished the grain
still protected and sealed —
even when rain blanched down
from turbulent people clouds.
Waterproof is always best, but
any old varnish will do.