2013: Alice B. Fogel:The Living Room (poem)

The Living Room
Alice B. Fogel

 When finally you turn out the lights and go to bed

the house stays up late like in the old days night

opens

out

in

peace stretches out

on the recliner and across the mismatched couch a soft patch

of light quiet on color uncoordinated cushions

the bright padded

moon shows even through a blanket

of clouds the sky takes shape

now just for the house pictures infinity

in framed squares glows through wherever is

not wall is glass

window wall

window

wall sky wall

infinity

house

alternate like your breaths

taken and let go

back to bed this time is the house’s

for an outlet sighs with relief

to be left unplugged switchplates off not needing to recede

from groping hands

the crown molding and balanced baseboards nestle in

to the sheetrock

here

and there

on endtables books close their mouths over secrets

the house sees you keep

waking hopes you stay in bed under the covers let

the sofa stuffing expand around its contrast

piping released from the weight of your naked

dissatisfactions restlessly shifting from your thoughts

to your body

thought

body

asleep

awake

your own wall

against the natural midnight lightly

vibrating inside and out like the piano’s strings

attached to what stays alive the house knows the rest

it needs

to soothe the hinged doors of cabinets

still the iron knobs cool the woodstove grayblack in the dark

lets smoke rise

up the chimney mortar and bricks escape

through the roof freely at first

lingering in the air above the fully furnished

house like a last

glance back

to back you must be able to feel

the house hold

it all together

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