I can't believe how this house stands
how its needs like foreign words
strewn about inconsiderately
tire the conversations,
sunny-side eggs for breakfast
named "eggs to dip the bread" by me,
hold- the cream translated to ''straight" coffee by you
each phrase a slap of color on the walls
a new layer of plaster to keep the wind out.
Our aches and broken bones
had to wait to be mended
at the end of soccer games
tap-dancing classes, homework
runs to stock the ever-empty refrigerator and pantry.
We tried, you and I, between drives
and sit-ins, in grocery stores and music stores
packing our private needs into practical things to stabilize
the perfect house
and quick runs to McDonald's or Pizza Hut's
dill over pizza, oregano over salmon
colliding over little and big things
while watching the old black and white
sitting on a Salvation Army couch that was just
like the one your grandmother had.
You were ok with little changes.
I was inpatient with little progress.
Until one day when
words and numbers themselves codes of conduct
morphed into years and decades
spilled wine stains on carpets
moldy shower stalls
this house we had tried to construct according to
our individual plans
had grown in size
stopped showing its flaws
and had smells of us we didn't want to eradicate.