by Lauren Henley
It does not help to put up lights.
Still the rain wakes when we do
and the ceiling bows.
Yesterday I know it was different,
and I helped you, towards the end, to untangle them.
But what do these things do
when we are not doing something to themâ€”
pulling them from the manufacturerâ€™s box,
the milk crate
or the bag, then putting on a record
while we try to unknot and disengage,
undo the doing, untie the tying.
These olives have been on the shelf
since last December.
The vacuum-sealed bag of crackers,
the tin of mussels, the blue and red toothpicks.
I want to know
what changes have taken place.
Some loss of energy, some loosening of fibers,
some falling away of atoms. These sundries,
these goods, they are dying,
only much more slowly,
and with more blindness,