But Gathers Heap
I held one of her hands in mine—not at rest,
what Whitman called a storm of skin.
I walked past the clean, empty fireplace to the kitchen,
stopped at the sink, picked up a glass,
began to scrub—
no brightness, dinner, floor. Hole,
like a garbage bag
shaken open. The smell
of vinegar. My little hunchback
in her small sweater, pointing
to the torn yellow body
of a sponge floating in a clear glass bowl, saying
Good as new—
No cube of something, color somewhere,
night of someone.
I throw out plates and teacups, rice, brown sugar, spoons, stiff red jam, plums, blocks of frozen soup—baking pans, a rug, a steel cart, an empty bowl, book cases, the floor—a rice cooker, a wicker fruit basket, nails and wire, thread, masking tape, drawers, the walls—towels, a mirror, two key chains, small pine chairs, cleaning sponges, cans of peas, the roof—I clean the kitchen long after the kitchen is gone.