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,
the siding rotted and stained
below our son's bedroom window,
where I patrolled and collared
him back inside every time
he tried to fly with the Voices—
his black and orange
demon-cards scattered now
on the 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.
Let's 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