Sifting in the Afternoon

Some people might describe this room as spare:
a bedside table and an ashtray and an antique

chair; a mattress and a coffee mug;
an unwashed cotton blanket and a rug

my mother used to own. I used to have
a phone. I used to have another

room, a bigger broom, a wetter sponge.
I used to water my bouquet

of paper clips and empty pens, of things
I thought I’d want to say if given chance;

but now, to live, to sit somehow, to watch
a particle of thought dote on the dust

and dwindle in a little grid of shadow
on the sunset’s patchy rust seems like enough.
More Poems by Malachi Black