an unexpected fondness

Laura Theis

I am in your house
the one I always envied you for
all that space
so much space
flooded with light
and so clean
blue shutters on the windows
and that apple tree
with the tiny wood bench

the gardening gloves
the barbecue
the blender
the BMW
the KitchenAid with the pasta extension
everything exists twice
one in full size and
one in miniature for the kids

and now it is late
so late it is early
yet I am not sleeping
I am stuffing my face
with the muesli
you keep in a glass jar
with a small silver shovel
like they do in magazines

maybe I cannot sleep
because somehow this house
is filled with all of your waking nights
your quiet smiling fights
and your infinite patience
with the sorrow the horror
you never speak of
or maybe I’m making this up
maybe that was just me being hungry

but upon returning
to my own shoebox room
that contains
nothing worth more than a fiver
a year’s worth of dust
and some mould
I surprise myself
by suddenly loving it


Thomas Pescatore

He's getting older
worried more about shit
shape, consistency, regularity
when was the last time
he went?

He thinks about shit more
than most things now,
besides cancer and how
many years he's got left,
and this person he knew
died at 40 young.

She asks him what he
wants out of life,
but sometimes it feels shallow,
like it's multiple choice,
with no option
for all of the above.
He’s thinking about shit
tho while she talks,
and his bloated stomach
wondering if he ate too little,
or if he ate the wrong things,
or maybe it was too much,
he thinks of fiber
and caffeine.

Often he considers stepping
off the tracks, wandering away,
swerving his car into a barricade,
but is that even possible,
can it be done? Or is he just eyes
and mind watching his body
move and work and follow lines?

It’s so tiring getting up,
sitting, laying back down,
if he closes his eyes
another day has gone.

He is sure he'll shit tomorrow,
at the very least, the day after that.
Just relax, don't stress out.
A coffee will fix it, some cold
water right after you wake,
maybe sprinkled with
lemon juice, lime juice,
from a home remedy
he read online.

Every tomorrow
there's the same dress shirts
hanging side by side,
sometimes they're thrown over a chair,
sleeves still rolled up to elbows;
through the window cuts the
morning workaday sun.
How often does it do that?
How many years have slipped away?