Rental – Fully Furnished

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And in this drawer
are balloons and rubber balls (for juggling)
some tap washers and a nine-pronged
you-fix-it gadget.

In the corner cupboard you can pry
further into our lives
through photo albums—lots of bad shots.
Behind the mushroom-pink humidifier
this rosewood box holds my passport
the birth certificates of all my children
their baby tags and ultrasound snaps in utero.

In the bedroom you’ll notice
the mattress is stained by passion
young children, bad luck, upset stomachs.
(There’s a dirty sock and an old suitcase
in the fluff under the bed.)

The bathroom shows we’re clean though the basin isn’t.
Some of us have long hair—
the plugholes are strung with it.

This desk holds letters from friends about friends:
the usual criticism passing as wisdom
envy, humour, gleeful spite.
Our paintings make little sense without our glances
and our books fight for space with each other,
as did our thoughts in this house
which you temporarily inhabit,
where you too will leave your cast skins.

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