two weeks of rain
washed away all the flower pots’
Whites and darks mixing
in the same washing machine.
A house reduced to cardboard boxes.
The afternoon spinning on the rain’s axis.
The false menthol
of a Derby Light + a Halls.
The color Plasticene bars make
when they’ve been kneaded together.
The world is turning so fast
it appears to stand still.
I thought about saying so
but preferred, as your copilot,
to watch you circle
the parking lot.
The ants came in
the moving boxes.
The new apartment
begins to feel more like a home.
One that belongs to someone else, but a home.
In the new apartment,
the handyman hollows out a wall
searching for the water leak.
This isn’t disorder per se,
it’s order of another kind.
Plastic bags, Sharpie
on boxes, in cursive:
kitchen / books / bathroom
If someone else were to walk in at this moment,
they wouldn’t know if we were moving in or out.
the brain goes soft,
the heart hardens.
I look older without a shirt on.
I thought about saying so but preferred
to remember the time when I was
your copilot as you kept
circling that parking lot.
Without a sound, Francisca
moves through each space –
here with the bucket,
there with the broom –
inside that mouth,
the glint of a gold tooth.
A pause which threatens to become
something else entirely.
Clothes we haven’t unpacked,
the taste of synthetic menthol,
that empty space
where you finally parked the car.
Over a few rounds of beer
some friends were discussing
how long we can keep calling ourselves young.
What does it matter, you thought aloud,
if I was never young to begin with.
Then the fog cleared.
Then the crickets came on.
Here's where a decisive phrase should go
but the t-shirt
from that afternoon we were talking about
fades while the grass grows
and without realizing it,
you begin to use some of my trademark phrases
every six words.
What never will dry in this weather,
what shines whether we like it or not,
the wrong time of year to move,
the brain: a lump of Plasticene,
the heart: two car doors
that only know how to close.
Underneath all of this there’s a song,
even if it can’t be seen or heard.
The promise of a new house
stayed behind in the old one.
What remains of the rainy season is a blend
of all the Plasticene bars –
what will knead together is kneaded
together, the hammering that quiets
the tenacity of a leak,
veining the window.
And the crickets’ song
swelling like another fog.
Underneath all of this there is something better.