November 24, 2011

Debora Palmer

NOTE TO THE HOUSE SITTER

I forgot to tell you
the fire extinguisher is propped
by the piano. In case of fire,
grab the Cairo lamp and the dog.
If you rub her throat, she’ll lean
against you and moan. Night clunks
in the kitchen are the cats
or the icemaker. Whispering
in the back office is voicemail, yelling
is from the neighbors two houses
north. The chandelier blinks;
changing bulbs doesn’t change
anything. And the guy next door
who chirps at his snapdragons
and flaps at passing pedestrians,
he’s harmless. Really.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006