by AK Anderson Summer 2007
- Her to Him
I’m painting the ceiling in the late summer twilight
of a Georgia front porch worth two rooms of my house.
I’m painting it blue-green, because
the old wives say it’ll fool the bugs into thinking it’s the sky.
You’re sitting on the chair below me, reading aloud from “Good Omens”
sometimes I laugh so hard I almost fall off the ladder,
sometimes you laugh and you can’t go on reading.
You will say “Wasabi!” every time you read this poem.
A carpenter bee hovers in front of my face to ask why you aren’t painting with me.
I explain that folks enjoy working with people, ideas, or things
Usually, we prefer two of them more than one .
I like ideas and things. People wear me out.
You don’t find satisfaction in seeing a freshly mowed lawn.
You call every tool in the shed a “wrench” even if you want pliers or a screwdriver.
I don’t even know if we own a wrench, I use the socket set.
You don’t like to paint – though you did love the play of painting the porch floor
splashing the dark olive in all directions,
using the roller like you were mopping up the drab grey from before
you moved in with me.
It’s my house. Why would I ask you to do this for me?
I’m the one who wants to see it done.
There isn’t a fairy tale that teaches us how to create happily ever after.
Ever after is a long time to work together.
“I love our neighborhood” Steve chuckles to Clarice
As the Allgoods jog by under the flickering streetlights,
“We find our own way.”
- Him to Her.
My favorite part of your house is this six-paneled door
you’ve shaded with green.
it closes Lingo and me in the room with the TV.
I can play video games, computer games, surf the web
watch the DVR, VCR and the DVDs
to help me unwind from the outside in.
You had to journal
the day I had the cable installed, because it was
a big sign of your commitment to me
to allow your sanctuary to chatter with
This green-trimmed door lets Lingo have the entire couch.
He doesn’t have to scoot over, or fend off the cats.
He can dream, bark and chase squirrels out of the ivy in his sleep
while I dream, and laugh, sprawled in the lazy boy.
We close the door because
you need to write when back-story overflows and
metaphors explode out of you like
pine cones on fire.
I wonder sometimes
if I do enough work around the house.
I never remember to water plants, or take out compost
I don’t notice the mess
until you ask me to help clean it up.
I never knew there was such a thing
as a girl who liked a guy to snore in bed at night.
like Keesli the sneezing cat we all adore,
sometimes we are made lovable by our quirks