Winter Break Litany

After Billy Collins

The crumbs on the tablecloth,
the unwashed plates on this counter,
and that empty bottle of wine next to the
Yankee candles without wicks.
Also, the water spot on the ceiling,
the dribbles from the dog’s bowl,
the wilted Philodendron,
the unwashed pile of T-shirts and towels,
the unfolded blanket,
and the sock with a brown sole.
Not to mention the chemistry and French homework
alongside the crumpled notes and drafts and throw pillows
on the unraveled Berber carpet
with the unfinished cup of yogurt and
the remnants of this bag of Doritos
and that can of flat Coke.

Please add the sadness of that empty box of K-Cups in the cabinet,
the smear of cookie dough ice cream near the sink,
the fingerprints on the stainless steel fridge,
and the shredded mozzarella on the hardwood floor.
Additionally note the pile of catalogues
and the heap of statements with that
unanswered invitation next to
all those pens that no longer work.

We should really throw this all away,
clean up this clutter that no one claims
to have made.
I say, we are a stain away from roaches,
newspaper stacks, and fossilized cats.
But you can’t be bothered;
it is easier for you not to notice
this plentiful imagery

that slowly collects
in the space between us.

Victoria Nordlund received her MALS from Wesleyan University. She teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her work is published in PANK Magazine, Gone Lawn, Ink In Thirds, Ghost Proposal, Coffin Bell and Amaryllis Poetry. She was the 2016 NEATE New England Poet-of-the-Year.

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