At the end of the day, I sat with my sister
Feeling the house chugging around the Milky Way.
Or maybe it was the air conditioner, I don’t know.
Her house, in the country, stirs and settles,
Creaks and sighs leaving gaps in my comprehension.
A house is an organism, Susie said, elbows on knees.
It needs shoring up in the lavender light.
Like a child, it needs tucking in and soothing
And a good scrubbing just when you want to read.
You’re telling me, I said. Yesterday at my house
I had to comb my conifers. Spruce us up,
They said, shifting so they blocked out the holly,
Who wanted me to admire their sheen.
I ran my fingers through the pliant needles,
Then shook the branches, brown needles
Showering my hair and arms. Smell me,
The lone magnolia bud demanded;
The rest of her family will pop out tomorrow,
All asking to be fawned over. At the front door,
Cobwebs draped their silky threads around my toes.
They were young, these webs, their parents swept out
Yesterday. Inside, the wood floors stretched and yawned,
Creating breathing space between the floorboards.
Fruit flies welcomed me by the plate of nectarines.
Nice and ripe, they told me, come we’ll share.
A shred of lettuce lay curled on the floor.
I’ve waited so long for you, it said. Kiss me,
Revive me. What could I do but place it
Between my lips. A sesame seed came up too,
Having languished too long on the tile.
I’ll give you good luck, it whispered.
It’s a mustard seed that brings luck, silly cow,
Said the coriander, standing up
For a friend. That got them all going,
The overheated fridge, the avocado pit
In the glass of water waiting to sprout,
Vibrating and thrumming. And that was
Only the kitchen. Come, come children,
I said. Let’s snap to. Dust motes and mites
Patted my eyelids. Dance with us, they said.
And they put their small hands in mine.