Poetry

 

Maid

Poet: Stacie Primeaux

thoughts and memories are linked together like long distance relationships
the way your motherís smile is related to your daughterís, or like the bedroom to the dining room on a spiderís web
and they hold and let go of hands
 
sometimes without consent
sometimes unnoticed, doors are closed to rooms without consciousness
appliances lose circuit, lights flicker out, and years later your 5th grade teacherís name is unredeemable when called to mind,
entire movies lose their plots
or past holidays conceal themselves behind a shroud of years
 
but sometimes,
and usually with some sort of jolt of the senses a No Vacancy sign flickers back on
and life reenters the room you forgot
a radio from the attic when plugged back in bursts out music from beneath itís shell full of memories
music that had always been there
celebrating within
by simply smelling oranges you could be catapulted back to a restaurant where the family was last together
you cut your foot in the kitchen and are suddenly recalling hopping across hot black asphalt through the parking lot near the beach
recollections are tricks and the mind is a magician
pulling an infinite length of colored cloth from such a small place
hiding one thing as a distraction for unveiling another
taking one belief and with smoke and mirrors giving another
and I wonder what will come back to me
 
I polish my kitchen table soothingly circularly until my silhouette glows and I childishly wish (arenít we always childishly wishing?) to clean my head out as conveniently as I clean my home
I would start with the clutter
And take out the trash of those irritating horrible catch songs and radio commercial jingles that send my eyes rolling with images that neither taught nor entertained me
Things that are useless when Iím trying to pay attention and focus
Things that come uninvited, unannounced like an presumptuous visitor
So that while Iím struggling to remember where I filed last yearís tax return, my hotdog has a first name itís o s c a r
And down the road while running a red light I dial 459-2222 and get a mister Gattiís pizza delivered 
What is that shit?
I need to take the trash out
 
to spring clean my thoughts
sanitize the pictures I saw on the news of Jean Benet, 
feed worry through the shredder
If I could send off in the mail the face of my ex boyfriend that keeps resonating and haunting the voice of a new lover
If I could shove envy and jealousy down the food compactor
Or the summers I worked to buy a pair of designer jeans
 
But what would you keep?
Complements theyíve given you
Fantasy and accomplishment
Would you keep all of your suffering in order to retain your wisdom, and
polish your hardships as trophies and symbols of your lessonís journeys?
Would you keep your fears in order to protect yourself?
Would you rid yourself of curiosity if itís always getting you into trouble
 
Would you keep the fear that was conceived from human hatred, the racist propaganda your Grandpa taught you? 
Would you keep the doubts and frustrations about your purpose, the guilt of disobeying a wrathful God?
 
Would you memorize every love letter that sailed your way?
Keep all the best dreams at arms length
If you could maintain your mind, clean it, adjust the temperature, decorate it, scrub it 
Put every emotion in its place and always accessible when needed
Make it represent you
And not betray you with itching worries
Leave you with inexplicable tears
Chain you to convention, fashion, possession
What pictures would line your hallways
What altars would be erected aglow with candles
What food would embellish your table and nurture you
 
How would you keep your home

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