My Eureka falls out of the closet
and any sensible cat runs for the basement rafters.
Even with a vacuum the kitchen table
legs have got fur.
I have to get on my knees
with a damp rag to do a good job.
Old lavender projects
shed stems on the hallway floorboards,
making cotton-candy sticks of cat hair.
The door to the basement is usually open,
behind it are pots on hooks,
and a poster from the American Museum
of Natural History of an ancient shark jaw—
Something from work free-piled long ago.
Why it is still there wrapped in plastic,
yet un-affixed, and perched next to the molding
is another sign of good work left undone.
Downstairs, next to the boiler,
it is endless laundry.
My son’s clothes keep coming.
I finger up the lint in the dryer trap
and wonder is this human or cloth–?
They were right, you know—
the women who warned me
not to get married; not to give birth;
not to devote my self to any thing but art.
It is all I can do to keep up
with the eternal piles
of clothes, books, papers; enigmatic plastic things
that need to be sorted, cleaned,
put away, taken out, used, put away
again and again and again.
As I cook dinner I get a pot off the rack,
dizzy with chores, I look down.
There it is—maw,
behind the door on the floor
still wrapped in its retail cellophane
yelling, eating, swimming in poster board primordial ooze,
saving its wide reach
for when I quit myself and come to.