issue 4: spring 2002

> Kate Sontag

For the Man in Love with Bare Rooms

This morning I make a list of every
bare room I can think of beyond
this yard of wintered sunflower stalks—
     the bare room above the tree line
     the bare room of the old canal lock
     the bare room of the plowed cornfield
     the bare room of the crematorium
     the hospital room where he delivered
     his mother her divorce papers to sign
     as her cancer barnacled her lungs
     the bridge he crossed at dawn
     to release the dried petals of ash
     into the loft of fog over San Francisco Bay
     the clean surface of her sleep a shell
     around him nights we camped
     on the screen porch off his study
     the raw space of his grief as remote
     from these stripped walls in the Catskills
     as the motel room where he leaves
     behind a gold band on the bedside table
     a map of the interstate spread across
     the bare room of his revisionist heart
          --and stop at my own body arranging
          and rearranging itself among white sheets
as if I could become the room
he is waking in now, the bare
architecture he will always walk back to.



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ISSN # 1537-2812 
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