Home poem (mine).

An Almanac
after Schuyler

The yeasty closet where
the wine is kept. The
greasy iron skillet in its
allday dress of fat. The
soap that’s lengthened
by dilution. The sole
Haggadah on the shelf
above the mugs. It’s
illustrated. The empty
bourbon bottles staunch
in the last days of their
labels. The Buddha’s
mounted on a spoke.
The wok utensils, the
tipping photos on the
stained refrigerator’s
doors. Four avocadoes
in the highest hanging
basket. Four chairs of
lusty patterned velvet.
The teapot with its half
-filled silver belly. The
poppy flowers sipping
pertly in a liquor glass.
The books that wait for
us below the toaster.
The drying rag strung
through the grip of
the refrigerator. Dried
wildflowers in a tea
decanter atop the tallest
cabinets. There’s tape left
on the window from the
flier for the party. The
doubled over tablecloth
with specks of soup and
breakfast. Three pens
from which to choose
from. The pinkish salt
and labeled pepper. A
clock that’s impossible
to hook back on its
nail. It’s slow. We’re
slow to change its
battery. The tiny bowls
of seeds that could
be planted. The tapestry
of red batik: naked
woman with the stars
that mingle with her
hair (the artist is in
residence). The wire
rooster on the wall above
the table. The wooden
bowl of over twenty
oranges. The burner
knobs all turned to
OFF. The blue bread
bag hanging from a
tiny cabinet knob, full
of plastics to reuse. The
folded-open magazines
in piles by the window.
Peacock feathers fanning
from the shelves of
spices. Bananas green
as limes. Olive oil leaned
against the vinegar because
they’re standing on a
towel. And another
bottle joins them. At least
one door or drawer
remains ajar. A wooden
bowl for farm-picked
lunches drying in the
rack. And all the other
drying bowls. And forks
and used containers.
The canister of coffee,
salmon pink with its
spoon stained brown.
I can smell it when I
walk into the bathroom.
The tiny colored flags
above the kitchen door.
The blinds that loosen
but we tighten them back
up. The skinny bathroom
door. The red tin colored
like a phone booth for
change found on the
floor. Knives stiff and
at attention on their
magnet, and the print
of wood and ink and
the cloaklike steam
that coats the windows
in the winter when
there’s roasting beets
or casserole. If the
sun is coming in, it’s
early. If both the blinds
are closed then the
golden lock is locked

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