V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




How often have I pictured him
rooting out pests
in some woman's house.
On an Oriental rug he's crouched
with flashlight and pen,
the stiff, starched whites
I iron nightly without complaint.
He says that I'm imagining things,
but when he's not here
the visions swarm,
beat their long, black wings
around my mind's noisy rooms.
I see her point as he kneels down.
Near the hem of her silk robe
he fingers a place along the floor—
chipped paint and riddled boards
signs of foul play below.
Yes, I know the moves so well:
see how one quick shift of his tool
and gnawed wood yawns.
Someday I'm going to catch him,
spilling his lies, his poison words
as he aims a yellow beam
into the tunneled dark.
"This is where it starts," he'll be saying,
"underneath, in the dirt-filled core.
They eat their way
clean through the walls, see,
and then they just go crazy."


© by Michelle Bitting


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