We're moving the couch. A new view. Behind it
I'm hoping for money but likely only dust.
Perhaps paper clips. Leave something still long enough
+ sometimes treasure just materializes. I've had
this cough for two days, she's been sniffling longer,
and when she asked tonight when she got home
if I wanted to move the couch I coughed, asked her
to define want. The living alone has made
a submarine of my heart, my self. I never know where
to leave the scissors, which lamp looks best in which
room. The newspapers stay on the ground for days and
when she came the first time I thought goodbye
stories I didn't ever read. She puts a shoulder down, hands
beneath the couch, and tonight from across the room
we'll sit, she wiping her nose, me nursing tea. This is
the Duluth of want: how cold and rocky-hilled.
Someone must have one night said this will do, found a place
to rest + three generations later people ask about
being native. This is where we are. This couch hasn't always
even been mine, was last year furtniture for friends
and, before them, their parents, + now I'm sitting, calling it
mine, home. The view's basically the same
from either side of the room: before it was one window,
now it's another. There was no treasure, not even
a picture. Directions I could barely read scribbled on a quarter
of a quarter of a piece of paper I must've meant
to throw away but lost the will. And what if we're all just
where we end up. And what if it really is all for
the best. And what if 'the best' is something we're doomed
to always be both sure and wrong about. She puts
her head on my shoulder and we're a movie, a song, an
advertisement for an orange couch. Sunset.
When she falls asleep later tonight I'll take one of her loose
hairs, wrap it around a dollar and slip both behind
the couch, tell myself to forget, here I am, never forget,
fall asleep, forget, wake up, remember: surprise.
I was sort of stuck on doing versus poems, and the couch seemed like the next good thing for a showdown. Plus I actually did find the directions to the woman's house I was then dating, and we were (when I wrote this) wearing our relationship out, and the directions made me really, really nostalgic, and so the equation ended up like (nostalgia)+(compulsion for versus)=poem.