While Dreaming of Our Old House,

I Speak to My Wife


I thought we’d sold it long ago—

the yellow ranch we painted

beige with a murmur of green.

 

But here I am, walking its yard,

the one I used to tend with care,

its vines grown wild.

 

Below our son's old window,

the siding peels and rots—

the spot where I patrolled

 

and collared him back to bed

every time he tried to fly

with the Voices, his red and black

 

demon-cards still scattered

on this ground, their tattered ends

proof of his fall.

 

                                   I step inside,

and you’re here too, weeping

by the kitchen sink. On a bookshelf,

 

platoons of candles mark time,

their beeswax feet clad in pewter,

tops cast as little busts

 

of General Lee in his Appomattox hat—

chin high, eyes regal,

a set of crossbones on his neck.

 

We never left this house, it seems. 

Let's sell it, Love, and move away,

surrender this disrepair—

 

my haughty, stubborn Lee,

                             the wings I clipped,

       the years we cannot mend.

 

Appears in The Florida Review,

Volume 43, Number 1, Spring 2019