Reflections of a Bachelor

It offered stillness

To a world

That was so active

Twirling tearfully

Like numb-chucking

Buzzards overwhelming

Peripheral horizons;

Its peace prevailed

In the dim after hours:

Dish rack in disciplined order, scant suds

Loitering around the drain, counter

Clear except for an occasional dish rag

Somehow charismatic in its grunge.

A few hours earlier

Rustle and business

Blinded us like a spotlight

From the evil

That lurks within,

My internal audience

Ablaze in idleness:

Pots on lit burners in domestic gloss,

Diced celery, grated cheese, the smell of

Taunt beans consuming simmering sauce—

Diverse was the color, taste, and shape of love.

You were the conductor

Of this orchestra,

Its inception

Beyond the realm

Of my awareness.

We worked together.

I was very good

At doing what I was told:

Steaming the broccoli,

Setting the table

Lighting the candles.

The table,

The conversation,

The delicate handling

Of utensils

Ushered in a dignity

I have never

Since known.

When dinner was done

The stillness

Returned carrying

The dominion of that shadow—

That atmospheric blur—

Fuzzy, hearkening in

Hypnotic fatigue.

At this point

The relationship

Would move

Up into

The bedroom,

Into its ceaseless storm.

I was a boy in big shoes

Unable to care for you

The way I wanted to.

Years later in the fondness

Of memory

I ponder

The phylum’s

Of footsteps

I’ve left behind

Always on the run.

I steal through the kitchen.

Counters cluttered with assorted open box.

Wrappers utensils and weeks-worth of mail

Vogue in grand collage to need for Luvox

On the old kitchen tables’ disorganized jail.

Kraft macaroni and cheese,

Rests in the wok

That need only

Be paper-towel-wiped

In accordance

With instructional


Plates and cups

Remain in

The ajar cupboard

As I select one

From out of the sink

In contraceptive effort

To avoid unwanted dishes.

I have made many

Necessary changes

To function

Alone in this world.

It has been a

Wonderful challenge

With so much

To learn about


The customs

Of love