Open House

When you’re showing them the house
and you get to the bathroom
and you’re thinking, “I thought I had
that faucet fixed”
and maybe you see a little stain in the toilet,
and the bed made months ago smells
a little like sweaty fish
and you say to someone,
“this is where we slept for 30 years and
sometimes woke up out of our dreams
making unprovoked love.”
And downstairs in the kitchen
You’ll tell them about
the night you came at me drunk
with the butcher knife saying
“I’m going to kill you”
and I dared you to kill me
and we wound up on the floor together
naked, shaking, puking.
You know that silence that came in
when the children left?
Don’t let them hear it.
And whatever you do,
don’t let them see the hole I had to spackle
when the Redskins lost in ‘84.
But take them down to the garden
where you worked in painter’s pants
and one time I saw you brushing dirt
from the brow of a bulb with a finger
dabbed with the sacrament of mud.
And now, as you’re waving them goodbye
and you’re walking back along the lawn
where we sat in the shade of summer watching the kids
I remember a plane passing overhead
and I looked up and caught you thinking
there'll be no end to this.

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