Dorianne Laux I will keep nothing, not her box of photographs or her sheet music, not her books or her rings, will not get down on my knees and dig up her American Beauty and her Bird-of-Paradise. The house she loves will go to my sister, her kids: the carpeted hallways she walked in her stocking feet, dangerous glass-topped coffee table she nicked her knee against. Not her enamel tea pot, not a scarf or a sock, a letter or a fork, not a fireplace poker or a grim set of chipped cups. I want none of it, not one thing she touched because he may have touched it too, his hands all over that house, greasy fingerprints behind the bureau, voice broken in the pipes behind the walls, silver hair clogging the drains; his gray shaved stubble makes its ghost face in every mirror. She chooses to live there with the oil stain seeping up through the driveway's 45 earthquake cracks. I beg her to leave, get an apartment, tell her it's for her mental health, her own damn good. But she insists on being buried in the backyard under the bottlebrush tree, stripling she planted with
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 31, 2006
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