Working Class Houses
There’s never too much space
to live in a house
you can’t call your own.
A kitchen window you can’t open
is much better than none at all.
You put out a fire,
then go to sleep,
you have to go to work tomorrow.
If the bulb in the bathroom flickers-
turn the tap on and put your head under it.
Don’t cover with paint
the wall which is stained,
wash with ink.
Leave the mirror behind the door so it breaks.
Leave a few pages torn off from your father’s diary.
Leave the verandah light on.
Leave new clothes and old shoes.
Leave something behind, even if it’s for a short time,
It is yours, was-
when I ask for a plain cotton washcloth
you give me blue large leather curtains instead,
sunflowers for breakfast on the broken balcony
of a motel
at the edge of an abandoned city.
we are tourists here
never to stay
yet we find each other stealing visiting cards
and gum at the reception.
you will bring a lover who is not me and I you,
we are not gypsies looking for a home.
we are the paint chipped away on milestones.
we are to go back.
for you have become the road,
but I, the city.