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A Small, White House

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The last time you finished a story
I had written, one you hadn't fallen
asleep over, or forgotten, or let drop
to the floor where the cat slept
on it, dotting it with flecks of flea
blood, as if it had become the setting
of some small crime, until I found it
and hid it as a test to see if you
would ever ask for it again,
we lived in a small, white house--

There was an L-shaped porch
where I pissed leisurely into the shade
to hear the sweet, beating sound
on concrete, as they razed houses,
one by one, around us.  We hid the Christmas tree
into March in that same corner, from passing cars.
Summers, we'd drink quickly, before
the melting of the ice, to hole up
in the one cool room, its wall unit
droning out our love whispers.

I found that cat years later, frozen dead
outside these walls, his white fur soiled,
his dry blood the color of brick,
his return the same mystery as his leaving.
My friend put him in a bag for me, and he
went with the trash, and we told 
our children when they remembered, that, yes,
Burt buried him at the dump.  It was cold
that day, we were tired from work,
and the people who clear things away are prompt.

Tonight I drive past where that white house stood
and dream myself curled up asleep,
only your light on, and my words
speaking to you from pages like these--
not yellowed in a basement drawer,
not discovered in a search
for something else.

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