Brooklyn Copeland (Carmel, Indiana, USA/UK): from Borrowed House

From BORROWED HOUSE


MILD AND ALOOF AS A DOVE


Our first mornings feel tricky, the tip
of a dusty tongue wetting a dusty upper lip.

The creeping sun is noncommittal.

Over decades, the mice in the attic have built
dresses from scraps of bandage, bandanas.
A dead farmhand's dressings.

You find me sorting through half-filled
dance cards, imagining a devout girl,
fair of face, fat of thigh.

Your reassurance is as mild and aloof as a dove:
that girl is long dead, you say.

Furthermore, look at her

junk: clearly she'd condone us.


THEY REMAIN WHERE BREATH LEFT THEM


These people were packrats. Really, we're the ones

haunting the house, traipsing half-naked, drink-handed,

every warped floorboard announcing our belligerence.

O, the things they hung on the walls!
And the things they shoved under beds!
And the beds they stored under stairs!
And the stairs they made into scenes, into starscape!

The carpet is still sandy with their dander,
flakes of spittle from their chatter. Just imagine!

They remain where breath left them.
Even on the way out, there's no accounting for taste.

Look hard at their expressions:
you and I are too conceited, incapable of expressing

such grand scale completion.


P.S. A review of Borrowed House.


© Brooklyn Copeland 2008