Cleaning House and Leaving
The house is no longer home;
title will pass at tomorrow’s closing.
Mother would sweep the attic monthly,
though no one ever came up here
except for herself and that twenty foot mouse
whose thumping footsteps I’d hear
on my bedroom ceiling late at night.
Now this one last time the attic is being swept.
An uprising of mold makes my nose run and eyes tear.
I snivel like the cringing six-year-old I once was,
lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling,
terrified of the pattering I heard above.
Now I must clear everything out.
The rooms must be broom-swept clean,
and rat poison strategically placed.
For you mom, for homemaker you.
For what would the new owners think of us, of you,
if late at night their children woke up screaming
that monsters parade in the attic.
Dawn of the Second Dream
Sometime between Australopithecus and Homo Sapiens,
the soul insinuated itself into the flesh
and roused halfhumans from their dreamlike existence.
Sometime after Australopithecus morphed into true humanity,
grunts and protowords became true words.
And new words were quickly invented,
sacrifice, prayer, ritual, afterlife,
and the most difficult of all to utter—
Sometime long after the faintest memory of Australopithecus faded
a serpent’s forked tongue nudged groggy souls awake
and a forbidden fruit was eaten and Cain killed Abel
in some long vanished forest, savanna, or swamp.
Somewhere at some early human dawn
innocent dreams were roused into nightmares of lost Edens.
Richard Fein was finalist in The 2004 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. He has an upcoming chapbook to be published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Richard has been published in many web and print journals, such as Southern Review, Morpo Review, Perigee, Skyline, Oregon East, Southern Humanities Review, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Parnassus Literary Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Exquisite Corpse, Terrain Aroostook Review and many others. Richard also has an interest in digital photography and has published many photos.