Inside a woman is a house
that she cleans when she can
but not if it means she can’t write a poem
or play with her children or stare at Venus
as the sky starts its slide into black.

And so there are dust bunnies under the bed.
Sometimes the drawers are so full
they won’t shut, and sometimes
the napkins are covered with stains,
and sometimes it just so happens

she likes them that way because they remind her
of meals that she shared and with whom.
And then swoosh, all she wants to see is shine,
wants all the shelves empty, wants all the dust gone,
wants to give away whatever’s been in her too long.

Nothing will do but to clear it all out
and put back only what she needs. And of course,
what she wants. Too many books, always.
And too many spices. Too many scarves
and too many hats. But she’s making room

for more wondersome things. See,
already she’s set out collecting:
eyes half closed, she stoops
toward her bed where dreams come in,
and make themselves at home.


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