“Under a Bare Bulb” by Walter Bargen

Walter Bargen


She whispers not this bed, chair, room,
the next room, porch.
Too familiar, predictable, the boredom unrelenting.
The outcome known before it’s expected,
thick as molasses and nothing sweet about it.
Cloying, yes, long before it reaches the jar’s lip.

She’s a growing leak in the kitchen, words running
until it’s a continuous stream.
The porcelain stained from the down pouring
of rust and vitriol. The month’s water bill
astronomical. The plumber never calls,
no one believes in a fixed cosmos.

This is not where she wants to be.
Yellow pages a temporary solution:
a costume shop for a change of life.
What will it take, she wonders,
to repair the first-size hole in the wall
above her head? What will it take
to move off the dime, leave the hole
for the wasps and mice?

She shouts that a dozen anthropod species
were just discovered in a cave in Indiana.
Why can’t she discover one quiet home?
Not here, but states away, mountains away,
plains away, that tease the horizons of afterglow.

from Rattle #23, Spring 2005

Rattle Logo