How To Stay Home At Night

Andrew Spiess

1
Sometimes it is worth lying
face down on the floor for a moment
to get some perspective.

2
Examine the floor for bits
of food, lint and dead grass
and those hairs
that didn’t come
from you.

3
Turn on the television
and focus
on a static channel
until the light wets your eyes,
heat swells in your chest,
and a steady beat
is heard.

4
Clutter a coffee table until nothing
on it can be discerned, a half empty
ashtray, gum and pages, prescription
bottles, and coffee mugs
unifying into the mass
like bad news.

5
Move aside the empty chairs
In the kitchen and pace back and forth
for at least twenty minutes
for the exercise.

6
Fire up the stove, boil water until holy.
Add two teaspoons of crushed fly wing,
one mandrake root, poppy milk,
ginger, onion powder,
whisper a lost lover’s name into it,
stir, drink
and let the vapors
permeate.

7
To be certain you have time,
make sure you have time to check
the time.

8
Trim the fullness deep in your closets,
under the bed, at the center of the chest
where a vacuous growth will form
as your living room
centerpiece.
Let it swell
before removal.

———————————————————————–

Andrew Spiess’s work has appeared in Lingerpost, Permafrost, and Prairie Margins. He received a Louise C. Cooper Book Award from Bowling Green State University, where he studied, and a poem of his has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He works and lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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