About the House

A poem by LOUISE ESSEX. 

I start to notice bubbles in the draining board froth–
their round precision.

Start to like the lazy swing of the under-sink cupboard
and deep mould — a zest–
that blankets the throat in the kitchen.

I begin to see maps on the shower screen,
rub a finger over the drops and their trails,
feel they’re taking me somewhere.

Notice how the grime clinging to the tap adds contrast.
How the shell pink sink shows up the toothpaste-spit,
tells you where last night’s stand spat.

Start to feel beautiful with my flame-white knees
lit by the toilet window
start to think the double-glazed ladybird I can see
is a red jewel for my eyes alone, and
the egg spatter, fat spatter
on the downstairs tiles

the old honey, old soy, rice grains behind the sofa,
the orange juice crust
black dust and
white mummified flies
all throb away with me, live
as I go about the house
busily and quietly, knowing
there’s life in the kitchen light bulb,
and everyday shrines all about.





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