I signed a one-year lease last month,
for the privilege of occupying this little green house.
I now have the right
to lean against the doorway
while I watch you shave;
I now have the ability to draw the curtains closed
and enact a quiet domestic mystery;
I may engage with the joy of frying bacon on the electric stove,
jumping back, as grease spatters across the counter.
We hold our assumptions lightly-
That the roof will hold,
the floors will continue to endorse gravity,
the walls will maintain the confidence
of the rope hanging on the headboard-
and the way it misses your wrists
at 3 in the afternoon.
We expect the carpet to never whisper
of the tears we shed over spilled milk or weighty debts-
the same thing,
as we will learn
when we forget to feed the fish
on the Thursday after next
when we find out Dad has cancer.
I wonder if houses and apartments
ever feel coerced,
like indentured servants,
perpetual surrogate mothers,
contracted to hold life after life
in their very bodies
unable to decide
who to let in
who gets banished
who they want to keep.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the stoic one
so let me wipe down the counters
before I sleep here, uninvited
and spend some time
in building trust.