Housekeeping — Marianne Morris

In a house is the silence of what is a home.

We either keep a man out
or in, debate his sanity, might know
to stay away from one instinctively if
the colors have dark aureoles or if the color
of one is always smudged out
by the color of another, an ex for ex
ample, all wounds are ample,
knocking on the corners
of my head. At each edge I find
a little puddle of Lethe
to drop my crocodile toes in,
still expecting to be applauded
for my expert mockery, I guess that’s
why I knew instinctively that a man would
not know the answer to my question: how
do you deal with female and female-
identified rage? But instead recommend
I read some other man and the other man
said ‘ridicule is MAN’s most powerful weapon’
and I laughed but
underneath it I was really angry.

When I think of real death (as opposed to
just Lethe) it is unreal, which is how I know
there is something in this body that clings to me—
when I download the narrative
and insert it into my being, or when my legs
buckle from crying, or when I float on an
ember of my own making, home in the car
or when the car turns a city into a countryside
or when the wind whips my hair. Or when I see
how wrong I am, when singing whilst cooking,
when the land sprays up a pink tea tree or a
thistle bars the front porch or when a piece
of land has been untouched for a long time
beneath a canopy of fallen netting and dried pine
and the grass is high and dotted with lemon thyme
whose essence fills my nose because I throw
myself into it, crush it under my knees and elbows
and it breaks open and releases its oils—
then my feelings sit down at the feet of
what felt them.  Sometimes all
you can do is wait—

Marianne Morris is a poet who was born in Toronto in 1981 and raised in London. She studied English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge, and founded the poetry micropress Bad Press. @mannemo