Where are the hidden abysses in this house?
the sink drain?
the ducts behind the dryer?
the spots beneath the garbage bag
that I pretend aren’t there.
I’m sure, whatever it is must be,
with coffee grounds and dead bugs,
Wherever they are,
I dreamed my soul was lost last night,
and quietly dispersed itself among the items of our house.
I creaked and moaned for your attention
where I could,
a drunken dishwasher and a whining chair.
As water vapor over the coffee maker,
I found what transcends all of space in you
with tricks of memory.
Because it isn’t in the busted slippers that I haven’t thrown away,
the ceramic bowls and plates,
the cardboard castles, cotton balls, and kennels,
the dictionaries of other languages,
the dead plants, the iconography that I pretend to pray to
or the dog piss,
deep beneath our carpet.
The darkness when I’m quiet is in you,
calling for my fingers to run over spaces
right above the strings that
I won’t make sense of just quite yet.
I know you hurt.
Once I am fully and completely still,
just look for me,
and we won’t have to say a word.
Neil Barrett lives in Alabama, where he teaches and raises a family with the love of his life. His work has been published by Leon Literary Review, Celestite, and a collection of essays titled The Metaphor of the Monster: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Understanding the Other in Literature. His sporadic tweeting habits can be observed on Twitter @whotwotewho.