The Cenotaph

I want to leave this place
unremembered.
The gas stove is leaking
and the door of the refrigerator
stained with rust.
The mugs are ugly
and there are only two forks.
The walls are black
and soft, the bed a balloon
of night-clothing.
The stairwell sloped
to a dragger’s pace.

There are big windows
with blind-slats dusty
and gray. Street life
goes all night and at dawn
freedmen shout and
laugh outside the kitchen.

Where does life begin and end?
In the lamb or the cotton?
My pillow is my friend.


More Poems by Fanny Howe