Not a Love Poem #9
My lover sent me a vacuum for my birthday.
A tall, yellow machine, hypo-allergenic
complete with adjustable, two speed motor
and five-year warranty.
First I vacuumed the bed sheets, sucked in cookie
crumbs, paperclips, bobby pins, one black sock
and a nickel caught in the folds of a blue
Then I moved through closets, over dress
shirts on wire hangers, half-knotted ties,
khakis and button flies, band camp t-shirts,
and a misplaced Playboy.
I went to the office next, behind the computer
desk and stacks of bills, appointment cards,
Doonesbury cartoons on corkboard, my picture,
and the ringed stain on wood.
Last were the tiny scraps of paper on the nightstand,
where we’d scribble parts of dreams: unicorns
and evil eyes, crosses and frozen lakes, parting
words, and that night with no moon.
I vacuum every room, collect fibers and hair,
watch them catch in blades, twist and settle
in ballooning bag. Each evening I empty it,
reflect on the perfect, loveliness of dust.