Thursday, May 13, 2010

In My Parents' Kitchen: A Free Write

The kitchen ticks. This would be true if there weren't a clock; parents' kitchens simply tick. Hotter here than last time, and there is heavily leafed water, rather than ice, collecting itself on the pool cover. There is no one here. When there is no one here in your apartment, it means you are free to sing out loud, wear nothing, say nothing, tinker. In your parents' house, when no one is here, you are free to stare out the back window, contemplate what Home is, watch the wooden dragonfly wobble on the porch.

It is as it is when the whole house sleeps and you--only you--are awake. You do and do not wish to be the only one awake, and you feel the world's mouth open wide, as if to swallow you. Unless you pray.

There are house plants. There are pets. There are new appliances, sugar cereal, one or two things you don't recognize. In your absence, rejection letters came in pairs. (And here, it is important to distinguish homophones: pairs, not pears.) They threaten to choke you, but you see that the kitchen clock ticks. So you resonate your vocal chords, as you would if there were someone to speak to. Your name first: . There is your voice. You decide it should still be heard.

At a reading, there was this line:
Chimes in a darkened house.

As long as there is a line you remember, you will write lines others will remember. Remember this, like you remember:

Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me
'til I come marchin' home


Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree...
Do you still want me?

Songs sung last time you were in this kitchen, when ice hung about the deck, drapes on a stage. Somehow your heart got lighter, fingers laced beneath it. Somehow a straighter spine, as if the little sparrows that drink the heavily leafed water pooling on the pool flocked to your back, got in and knotted themselves like musical notes along its length.

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