reading room


…the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably

    fell down there.

And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes

    have piled up


waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we

    spoke of.

It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep headstrong blue, and the sunlight

    pours through


the open living room windows because the heat’s on too high in here, and

    I can’t turn it off.

For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street,

    the bag breaking,


I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying

    along those

wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my

    wrist and sleeve,


I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.

Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called

    that yearning.


What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to

    pass. We want

whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss – we want more and more and

    then more of it.


But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the

    window glass,

say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing

    so deep


for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m



I am living, I remember you.


(what the living do by marie howe)