Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #15 : July-December 2011

Erika Carreon


      What avarice, the refrigerator.
      What buttons know best: tethers.
      What the ladder cannot know: underneath.
      What the light bulb yearns for: flick the switch first.
      What the roof can offer: take-off point or shelter. Up to you.
      What of the walls? The walls never speak,
      not even to each other.

                   “Didn’t we once talk about theology? We loved the idea of making idols—”
                   “To dig them up later. To prod and inspect.”
                   “Or to remember. For what is worship but a history of possession, a complete denial of
      the notion that nothing is not within reach? We carve our gods from wood, we kiss them with our
      linen, we bind them in books.”
                   “Wait. Weren’t we talking about archaeology?”

      Our favorite item: refrigerator.
      What we touch first: buttons.
      Something we never used: ladder.
      We keep the lights off.
      The last time I saw you: on the roof, I’m not sure.
      These walls are under renovation.

      And what will they say of us
      a hundred years from now? I said.
      Have you ever wondered that?

      He was sanding the rickety
      bed. Things are so notoriously hard to level.

      I continued. What will be left of us,
      what traces? Crooked frames, cardboard wedged
      beneath chair legs, the uneven floor?
      Will they know what life used to be here
      if all that is left is this room?

      He grunted as he inspected our furniture.
      The most difficult thing to level
      is his gaze.

      Today, somebody told me how every choice creates a parallel world of opposites.
      That must mean that every summary has an alternative, and every detail weeded out disappears
      into a wormhole, into a nest of other possibilities.

      In this particular summary, this person isnít you, and he talks to me willingly. I am content.