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i.

The hammer was enough–

large, framing,a big claw,

absconded from the inlaws,

exchanged for the four years in M_Hell–

a house of corpses from past lives.

The detritus of old magazines and endtables

soiled mattresses, bird seed carpeting

and the cockroach superhighway,

mouse gardens under the tub.

Made more livable by adding our own corpses–

boxes of old dreams stacked in corners and floors

like the spiderwebs you are too lazy to sweep-

the wispy bits of someone else’s home.

ii.

We went through all the stages of grief,

except acceptance, prettily dressed

in Bacardi and marital abstinence.

Whitewashed wood paneling

gave way to painted ivy vines

winding frames and molding

to be washed away by blue melancholia.

The consistency of blown fuses

drove the winter laundry drying inside

and our little family room became

nothing more than damp tent flaps,

marking the entrances to cold rooms,

until we were mere revenants

playing Animal Crossing, collecting Lovely Furniture

and fishing for Ceolacanth.

iii.

We ran. Back from where we came,

to a cozy B_Ton home

with a gas fireplace residing in the

graveyard of the garage

and the flower garden tangled with raspberries.

But like Barbara Hershey and Katie,

our entity came along, packed in boxes

of journals filled with faded ink.

iv.

Once loose our ghosts came to rest

in rooms filled with fleas and abandoned furniture,

destroyed flower gardens, a carpenter’s paradise filled with trash,

the lost potential of a remembered life.

A home with no visitors only rotting floors

and unused corners with boxes of melancholy

until we ran again to beach shore spaces

filled with lawn chairs and boxes,

unused objects, the memories of songs–

the echos of old lives and the hammer,

it was enough.

 

Laundry

6 quarters to wash.

4 quarters to dry.

1.25 quarters for a gallon of water.

13 quarters brings on the eggs,

80 quarters for dinner,

120 quarters leftovers.

68 quarters for two marbled ribeyes

148 quarters to feed the car.

200 quarters brings me the world

800 quarters keeps the lights on

400 quarters keeps the taxman at bay.

3440 quarters the roof stays overhead

4000 quarters to fix the car.

984 quarters for the TV I want

40 quarters buys one second hand.

0 quarters for a shuffle through sand

0 quarters for a laugh with the wife

0 quarters to share what I write

0 quarters to enjoy my life.