Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Ninth Apartment

This was recently accepted by Enjoy.

Listening to the zip
of the key sliding into the lock
and the smell of the rain outside
with the windows that have been locked all day
the cats greeting me
in the evening light of this room,

I realized this is my ninth apartment.
Nine sets of white walls, spotted with fingerprints
and newsprint stains. Nine floors I don’t sweep often enough.
Nine different cabinets filled with
the unused baking sheets,
bed sheets,
and towels.
Nine clogging showers
growing mildew in the tiles.
Nine ways to line up the couch and end tables,
the gathering and keeping of objects.

And that’s in about twelve years, which doesn’t seem
as bad when I think of the cities I have lived in,
the cars that died on the side of the road,
and the pets that have come and gone
the fucking, bending,
cooking, bleeding,
the surgery, driving,
the study, testing,
the work and quitting.
The turns this planet has made,
hanging as if weightless,
lonely in all that quiet darkness,
dotted with the business of our ant lives,
the times I have hauled this mattress out of another truck,
through another door,
onto another floor,
and collapsed there with you.

Still you.
Always you.

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