Monday, July 6, 2009

poem of the day 07.06.09

checking the door

it takes me a while
to go to bed.
i have to check the door
the windows, and the range
over and over again,
usually turning on the lights
and going from room to room
until i stand dizzy
touching window locks
turning the knob
feeling the range to make
sure that it’s cold.

i do this while my wife
brushes her teeth
or goes to bed
or stands there telling me
that she’s already checked
the door, the window, and the range.
she’s aware of my sickness.
sometimes she has already
fallen asleep
by the time i hit the bed
and sometimes i hit the bed
and have to get up
to go through the process one last time.

i tell her it’s because of my old man.
my mother used to work late
and in the summer he’d fall asleep
on the couch
with a lit cigarette and the screen door
i’d have to get out of bed
put out the smoke
and lock the door.
i tell her i’m not like this with
other things.
i’m not so obsessive compulsive
about getting the floors swept.

“i know,” my wife says.
and then she laughs.

“what?” i ask.

“it’s just funny.”

“what’s funny?”

“well, tonight, the whole time
you were running around
checking the door and the windows
and the range,
i’m standing there in the hallway
in nothing but my underwear.”


“yeah, my breasts were out
and you didn’t even notice.”

i tell her it’s a disease that i have
and can we get the light?
after a little awkwardness, we do,
and she rests her head
on my chest
and falls asleep easily
while i lay there awake for another hour
thinking about breasts and women’s underwear
and whether or not i truly locked
that front door
this time.

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