Come Live With Me


You won’t find a wall and ceiling perpendicular.

Every board, crown molding and seam,

once right-angled, has gone to wonk.

Counters, where I’ll invite you to rest your shopping bags,

are a half-bubble off plumb. Watch the lemons roll.

The rose-colored roses have dried and faded to tan,

but the paintings hold their jungled tangle of colors,

bright ones.

The faucets won’t stop weeping, rust

has made a thousand pinholes in the pipes,

and the furnace has taken up singing.

Window frames have loosened their grip on the panes—

a cracked one fractures the weedy garden—you may feel

a draft at your neck.

I’ve emptied the ashes and swept the hearth for you,

but chimney swifts have made a home in their name-place.

The upholstery’s gone too saggy or too hard

and the floor is cold. We’ll lie on the bed.

Turn one another to spoons.