Once we lived in a house
with many entrances, no exits.
There was no reason to leave,
no will to slip out. To sleep, to read
a book, to doze on the couch,
to cook in the fine blue dish, to toss
or mix in the clear blue bowl
was everything. Dawn rolled down the hill
and dusk crept up it. Only once,
I stood at the porch screen
on a snowy winter night and felt
the end enter me. And then, it was only
a chill. I spread birdseed
on the ice for the cardinal
that mocked every bedroom
window and the chickadees
that slit the dry shrubs with laughter,
their hee-hee-hee and the black bear came
on flat feet and licked it up the way
I used to lick my Laffy Taffy. The world
is a baby. Once, I climbed the tallest
evergreen to see if I could see
the neighboring town. I fell.
Its lowest branches caught me.
The real end will be
like this. Like driving through nebulae
of moths, or frogs if the summer’s fat
with rain sizzling on the asphalt and I love you
like a cracked egg.
I love you like a raw paw.
I love you like a city
no one can afford
after the last register’s
been cleaned out, the last mop’s
been slapped in the slop bucket.
I love you like green pennies
and the sunburned palms of maples.
Keep me awake. I love you
like a steal, like a summer blowout
sale. I love you like the 4th of July
we sat barefoot on the hill
to watch the fire show and I slipped
on the chocolate cake. The frosting
so cool between my toes, what
a thrill! I was so disappointed.
I must have forgotten. How
many entrances we had. How
many doors, how many windows. How
I would look and look
and see and see. Dawn
slides down the green grass. Dusk
sprints up it. I love you
like the fine blue dish I never got clean
because I used it to roast a chicken.
I love you
like the storm that cracks
open like a bead curtain. I love you
when I climb the flagpole
at recess to see if I can see
the city no one can afford. I fell.
No one caught me. The end
was waiting with a blanket.