24 June 2013

Small Spaces

Underneath the phobias and philias is an understanding,
like knowing that the left side of the bed
is mine, and the right side stays cool and wrinkle-free.
These are hidden terms,
buried in a contract,
in the hamper, in the planter
on the windowsill.
If you feel discouraged,
there will always be
the miscellaneous items
that cause structures to quake
and ink to run:
old candles, their wax bubbled dry;
cherry trees, ripened slowly;
the symmetry of wonder,
your eyes matching
the level of your interest.
And then there's a pause
instead of a goodnight, a fragile placeholder
for when the time comes.
Fortunately, I am fashionably late,
and my soldiers have already
tucked themselves in.

12 June 2013

The Drawer

Amanda Kovattana: helped client empty boyfriend's sock drawer. We figured he wasn't coming back; he walked out five years ago.

Arranged neatly, in short columns of black, brown, green, and gray, are his socks. The drawer contains only about ten pairs, each having its own story: The gray pair came from his father, whose feet were wider, rougher. The brown were a gift, dress socks worn thin from too many job interviews.

"Maybe, he'll remember that he didn't pack these," she thinks to herself, but after five years, they still line the drawer, soft and stubborn, like the single wrinkle between her brows.

In the cedar drawer, they're protected, like warm little secrets. "This gray pair, this is important," she recalls, holding up a folded bundle. "He wore these when we went to dinner." The subtle little argyle pattern stretched taut over his ankles, covering an odd mole over his left talus bone. She feels like the talus: muscleless, needing to be surrounded by those like herself in order to function.

"Yeah, yeah. He'll remember," she says finally, and closes the drawer again. She used to open the drawer more often, not long after he left. Then, she only opened it twice a year, sometimes forgetting they were in there, sometimes being afraid. This last time, she opens the drawer and leaves it open, waiting for the moth who'll never come.