But The Living Room Light Doesn’t Work

Today I sign the lease
on my first house.
It’s the biggest place I’ve lived
since I was a kid.

My sister is in Maine
visiting Mom
and offers to drive down
to help paint.
I spend the day before
pulling nails out of the walls.

Sixty years of them. Very soon I realize
this space hasn’t breathed right
in half a century. And each nail
begins to feel like a lace
on a corset.

I pile them on a counter
in the kitchen, next to the scraps
I saved of the drawing I made
once for my dad. I put them there
so the house can see.
They stay there four days.

My sister says she did the same
where she and Christine live
in Chicago.
Just made her feel better.

I spend all day here.
I know this place does not trust me
yet. And when the living room light
turns on
while I prepare to leave,
I remember
we are separate beings

still, whispering
to each other
through the dark.

Added: April 14, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014