by Sherrie Flick
The little dog and the sun. The chair and the coffee cup. The basket and the decorative gourds. The cat and the scratching of the braided rug. The space heater and the little red button. The books and their spines, stretching. The yoga mat. Pillows.
The rain clouds and the settling gloom. The garden with rivulets running through. The shed. We don’t talk about the shed. The little dog, sniffing. The tangled mess of morning glories, blue and purple. The neighbor and his back surgery. The oxycotin. The handicap parking sign and the yelling. Everybody yelling about the parking on the street.
The little dog and its leash. The walk and the playground. The slide and the swings. Midnight and the moon and swinging out toward the city view. We don’t talk about what happened on the swings.
The little dog and his jangling tags.
The city and its fools. The sidewalks and all the steps. Steps to the bar, steps to the restaurant. The ordering and the bad service. The next round and the too-red cherries. The soggy napkin.
The cat and its climbing to the top of the chair. The purring. The night, settled in for good. The smell of wood-burning stove. The creaking steps and the bed. The loneliness and the bed. The sheets pulled up tight to the chin and the sadness. The dreams.
In the morning the coffee. The coffee and the milk. The cupping of the cup, the sipping.
The bike and the riding. The market and the eggplant. The sun and its slanting across autumn in the city. Dusk. Friends and their arriving. The talk. The creaking of the oven’s door. The eggplant and dinner. The corkscrew and dinner. The plates and dinner. A toast.
The hand and the knee it squeezes under the table. A look and the feet touching, tapping. The feet and the port pouring generously around the table. The drunken slurping. The knee nudging. But then. Everyone out into the night.
The full moon and its rising. The cold air and the funnels of steam from mouths. The breathing into the night, the folding of arms. The standing, staring, watching in the night. The candles and their smoky snuffing. The dirty dishes and the stack of used napkins. The silverware in shambles, like a rusty car in a field.
The endless, endless thinking it through. The one red earring abandoned on the bathroom floor. The floor and its need for cleaning. Everything, really. Needing something.
The book, again, and its comfort. The book, snug under her arm, and the dog trailing behind, up the stairs with one snip of scotch, to the bed with its rumpled sheets and the small bedside light and its yellow-green glow. The little dog and its circles into the comforter until he’s a little hyphen wound tight. The cat snoring in the wicker basket. The moon somewhere out there.
The pages and their turning. The clicking of the switch, a hint of the moon’s glow in the corner. The sinking deep into the bed, pulling and covering and waiting. The sleep pulled down like a blind that will snap free. Pop. The sigh and the remembering.
There’s more. Breakfast and affairs and running in the park and stuffing the suitcase full and the opening and closing of the shed door. The swings, the remembering. Always, the remembering, the memory. Always, it is the thing.