The pantry moths would spill out from the cabinets,
like the flour itself had come alive and taken flight.
Every surface sodden with pangs of yearning,
each one related, but as unique as
another son or daughter. Worn, dull
hardwood, creaking and prone
to splinters; heavy
tile, cool and substantial; rough
nubs of carpet, smelling of ash and beer and dust:
the soles of my feet remember such despair.
The red curtains would wave
gentle in any breeze; fabrics would grow
damp and clammy at the first hint of storm.
There were so many that summer, the kind
that swelled high at the fronts, tall rounded plumes of black, pregnant with tornado winds and meretricious thunder.
We’d watch listlessly
from the bungalow porch, him pacing
and me lying back on the tattered sofa,
high as a kite, talking about how to store food in the basement
in case of Armageddon. It was going to be me, him, my son and the little black cat called kitty
against the whole wide world. Eventually, he would retreat,
and I’d be left to myself. I’d rub my hand
along the old wooden stereo cabinet
where we listened to Adele and Art Bell, and
I would ache for him to touch me.
He had told me he was scared, and though it made me angry
then, and I called him a coward, I suppose
that was the most honest either of us ever was,
in that summer without an apocalypse.