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 window,
the siding peels and rots—
the spot where I patrolled
and collared him back to bed,
afraid he'd fly with the Voices,
which he did, anyway,
as I can see by the black and red
demon-cards scattered yet
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 shelf, 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