Everything Loosens in the Kitchen
Broccoli florettes are jaundiced by their separation from the earth. The refrigerator kicks out a new batch of ice, a percussive interjection. We stopped talking long ago. "How long we are going to be here," I ask. You don't reply.
Winged ants emerge from gaps, move in unison along the grain of the floorboards before spreading, circling and backtracking. They smear like ink. They are the shadow of something we'll never see. No way to manage our infested lives. What finds its way in never makes it back out.
We set up a pool in the middle of the room. We wade, you in flippers, me in goulashes. We barter: no for yes, yes for maybe. I tell you I threw out my wedding dress three years ago. You tell me you didn't really lose your ring. We trade footwear. We hug. The water grows colder and colder.
The dining room table flaunts its legs suggestively, lustrous as the skin of an eggplant. The backs of my hands were once smooth. Your face never relaxes anymore. We ladle hopeful words into the air: respectable, insoluble, inexchangeable. "I thought we had a deal," you say.
The walls are pigmented with old arguments. Fixtures wash our faces in light, diminish our imperfections. Tomorrow, we agree to rise like bread. To nourish. We high five, though the game was lost long ago. We move off to the far corners of the house.
broccoli, respectable, diminish, infested, wade