THE LAST MOVE
It was months when
it felt like I had been
washing the dishes forever.
Hardwood planks under the feet, a
cord to the sky.
What is it to go to a We from an I?
Each time he left for an errand, the
would squeeze me in, I cried over the non-existent bathmat, wet floor
how south we were, far away in the outskirts.
(All the new bugs.)
I put my apron on as a joke and waltzed
a zucchini like a child.
This is not New York and I am not
This was before we got the dog even,
and before I really
trusted the paralyzing tranquilizer of love stuck
in the flesh of my neck.
Back home, in my apartment, another
woman lived there.
In Brooklyn, by the deli, where everything
was clean and contained.
(Where I grieved my deaths.)
I took to my hands and knees. I was
thinking about the novel
I was writing. The great heavy chest of live animals
I had been dragging around for years; what's life?
I made the house so clean (shine and
shine and shine).
I was suspicious of the monkey sounds
of Kentucky’s birds,
judging crackles, rusty mailbox, spiders in the magnolia tree,
tornado talk, dead June bugs like pinto beans.
Somewhere I had heard that, after
noting the lack
of water pressure in an old hotel in Los Angeles,
they found a woman’s body at the bottom
of the cistern.
Imagine, just thinking the water
was low, just wanting
to take a shower.
After that, when the water would act
spurt or gurgle, I’d imagine a body, a woman, a me
just years ago, freely single, happily unaccounted for,
at the lowest curve of the water tower.
Yes, and over and over,
I’d press her limbs down with a long pole
until she was still.