A crucifix hangs beside the travel poster, which shows snow-capped Alps in Switzerland. Both are artifacts left by the room's previous tenant. A third artifact is newer, the silver-framed photograph of Jules's mother. She smiles beside the dying Jesus. This wall is the first thing I see when I awake.
I nod off? Listen. Call it a bell though it buzzes. More crackle than buzz. All my life, houses. Houses have bells. Apartments buzzers. Townhouse Georgia calls it. Shithouse. Listen.
Congress met with the cops and the crooks,
appointing committees to investigate.
Me was outside in the adjective rain,
verbing and verbing about some proper noun.
no more scritch-scratch, black bodies
through grout. No more
crumb-hunters, curry spice tracked…
Through gold, a comb shimmers. Not the red
cock-comb of sureness, but here, a hen-comb,
a toothed darling.
Your son's hair wet with twilight,
his mouth a wound that won't heal.
A steaming bowl of spring:
so lazy the view…
Today I took your lone sweater from the shelf
where once the commingling of yours and mine
found perfect shelter in our nested winter clothes.
Nestling my nose in the folded sleeves…
Like shampoo, the scarf smells strawberry,
her hair is her shampoo smell, the shade
of strawberries in the sun.
Before there were appliances that whirr,
this place was the epicenter of summer sweets
made of tart fruits no one bakes anymore,
rhubarb and raspberry pies left to cool…
I am witness to the architecture
of her breath, her
sleeping. She is a fine
quiet thing until the morning comes.
Woznik ran the corner grocery until he saw a roach,
aisle three, between Life and Froot Loops, and went mad.
He died that year. Starved himself to death.
Did not slip toward your largess, Brown
Hair. Something baking smells good,
And the edge! Forsaken, some say,
The pair of tattered sneakers begs…
I never gave up my love of what I already loved:
The warm white towel, the way a woman
Makes me mad with a kind quiet burning,
The early forgotten poems of my youth…
Fireworks threatened to take the top off. Wet palms
twitched under eruptions of happiness.
Shoes by the door piled up like pups…
She baked a meatloaf. He told stories
that hurt her ears: debauched
Mexican nights. Peyote, hallucinations,
drowning in another woman's arms.
While being converted into a human dwelling, this greenhouse hid its soul from the carpenters. Windows are everywhere. The building's heavy lids…