A Holy Mess
The lock on the door that does not keep the children out;
every size of sock, balled up,
scattered everywhere, unpaired;
deep-red, dead roses drooping, heads bowed down,
stems entombed in an opaque vase−−
of a laughing Jesus ( a gift because I always wondered if He did)
beneath a canvas of our names in cursive
inside a heart of petals;
bought for twenty dollars at a yard sale,
end of day, two velvet
violet couches covered
in dog hair,
one doubling as a desk, the other as a hamper;
on the coffee table, another vase, this, tinted pink
holding withered flowers—
these, of a such and such variety but purple
and too many to count.
Plants do not fare well here.
crossed, overlaid: books, furniture, shoes overlapping
the edge where carpet meets tile;
edge of dresser, mantle, nightstands,
all surfaced with papers, trinkets, valuables, and not-so-valuables,
threatening to topple
off. There are no clear lines here.
Sharp-played piano keys
sound out. I cannot tune it out. Not plunking of rote song for memory
but rather impromptu melody played by small fingers, moving
like geed horses
and also bullet-voices marking breaks, shooting through these flimsy walls.
sky, seen from my window; subtler blues inside: copycat shades on candles, glass,
mane on a portrait where I was favoring experimentation, in photographs,
lip balm in a small, round tin that I can’t open but won’t throw out;
few spots free.
A dismal mess.
Signaling disorder in our marriage? So says a study.
Blanket thrust off the bed, still crumpled on the floor.
What calm I can recall: a ruse believed sub rosa, wrought carefully
with such intricate threads of denial. Words,
meandering across pages and pages−−
journal, notebooks full of distilled hope (such shallow thirst),
attempts to release heavy weight of this;
damaged trust hidden in a drawer; half-truths pandering to sentiment
hanging on all the walls.
Media in vitae in morte sumus. Paperwork combed through for clues;
in bowls, matching rings, unworn; captured
in a photo, enlarged and mocking smile;
the muck of bad luck evidenced in disarray; indulged- in urges;
distinct aroma of your cologne; written rants; and more than what is written here
or even seen.
But, oh, beautiful, imperfect man−−
my room was a mess before you moved in.