The Conceit That Unravels Into Meaninglessness
In the meantime, I'm living here,
keeping the house in order for showings.
Everything, from the paintings on the walls,
to the furniture on the patio,
has been tagged for sale.
I've been here for weeks.
Just today, I answered the door,
told telemarketers so-and-so don't live here anymore,
made coffee, smoked a half-dozen cigarettes,
had a beer, and walked the rooms trying to hear a sound.
A friend once told me
(First, prefacing the advice
by liking it to tombstones
above dead bodies)
what she does when walking into a strange place:
she imagines each face
to be a face of her past--
the young girl who looks up to her mother to speak,
or the teenager with a mouth-full of braces bagging groceries.
But what happens when the faces inside the rooms I enter are owned by dead people?
And I find myself walking past photographs
of this deceased elderly couple,
and past their son's collection of paint-by-number pieces
hanging on the walls.
I catch glimpses of myself
from the small mirrors on every wall.
No one is coming here unannounced,
so I can act this way.
Everyone went west after the funeral,
and I find that I can't remember
the original placement of things.
I know the date
only from the newspaper.
I leave the shower running
and fall asleep nude.
Nude, and asleep with the shower running,
I am the pretension of a misplaced object
that has become a conceit
which unravels into meaninglessness.
Alex Missall is a 23 yr. old male, and University-of-Cincinnati-dropout. He considers himself a struggling poet who works various odd-jobs from cookie-packaging to battery assembling. He lives in Columbus, OH.
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