For years I was in love with a geometric
comforter. I spent entire days solving
the algebra of her pattern, counting
her coordinates. Now there's a kaleidoscope quilt.
She makes me dizzy. Mornings I slump
near the footboard, waiting to be folded
or spread, listening for humble sounds
of routine in the kitchen. I'm sick of feet.
Kicking, nestling. I dread the padding
of the cat's paws down the hall,
his indulgent naps and 20 minute baths.
Being ornamental is awful.
I squander afternoons envying
the curtains. I win another staring match
against the ceiling fan. Sometimes
I let myself remember the weekend spent
in the trunk of the car. Absorbing exhaust.
Fantasizing over picnics and breadcrumbs.
It rained instead and on Monday
I was tossed to the laundry room floor.
The dryer is the worst. Out of spite I gorge
on socks and strangle pant legs, roll my edges
to gather more lint. I'd come undone
but needle and thread terrify me. At night
the quiet argument. The heat and spill of sex.
I archive intimacy, stay flat as I can
and when they sleep I listen to a tide
of breathing. I've never heard an ocean.
Sometimes they hang me on a line.
I snap in the wind. Avoid bird shit.
My hem barely reaches the white tops
of dandelions in the yard. In the distance
a cell phone tower blinks like a lighthouse.
I pretend I'm the sea.
First appeared in Off the Coast.