I cried on the white hotel sheets,
thinking of strangers’ blood and bleach
while you slept loud and hot, unbothered,
and woke to walk the sand in silence.
When you took my hand, I wondered why
furniture matters like the objects we collect
in curios and drawer compartments,
the art we hang on our painted walls.
We drove back with the windows open
so we didn’t have to talk too much.
My hair lashed my tan cheeks,
got stuck between my eyelashes, but
still I could see the tension lining your frown
with premature years. I smiled again,
what I’d learned to do when you can’t,
but I was thinking of the souls of varnished floorboards,
the tyranny of carpets changed with the tenantry.
I can make the locks turn, but does that make them mine?
In the final miles, you brightened, remembering
my new place was just across town,
that soon we’d be drinking red wine on the balcony
like we did when we still admired every word.
You’re almost home, you said.
I’m homeless, I replied.
Perhaps if I could live in the bookshelf
Grandpa made and drink from the pewter cup
etched with the date of my birth.
Perhaps if you loved me,
and you tried and so did I,
but this space is a museum, and I?
a curator for now.