JENNY SADRE-ORAFAI


AVOID DISASTER

Kitchen
Open the drawer for the knives. Air out
the heavy glasses above your head.
Raise the blinds that shield us from
the loudest neighborhood children.
We only have to hear their stomps to school.

Bathrooms
Throw the doors open like you’re driving
away demons or birds back to their nests
or to Hell for the weekend. We’ve got
the storage under the sinks too. It’s fine.
Undress these places. Everything must open.

Living Room
Unlatch the TV armoire. Now isn’t time
to dust or to moon over that sitcom star
with the dimples you can’t resist. You watch
those dimples like they have speaking parts.
Let the DVD player keep its mouth open.

Guest Bedroom
Every drawer that promises generic clothes
from catalogs, clothes that are guaranteed
to be made here, in this country, must open.
Don’t close the door. This room doesn’t require
the privacy now that we’re accustomed to giving it.

Master Bedroom
Slide the double pane windows. The screens stay.
Let clothes on their wooden hangers whisper
in the closet. She’ll like watching this. We’re happy
for the breeze. I’ll unpin her chignon. This is how
to bring a baby home. This is how we avoid disaster.
 
 
 
 
LINED UP, READY TO LAND

Since no one’s dreamed about me so much
or told me they dream about me so much
and in such detail, I know it’s real. It has to be
when you tell me that we were walking
in a downtown that wasn’t ours. Cars crashed
soundless all around us. They were bucking waves
everywhere. They soaked the streets and I wasn’t
scared of drowning. After five wrecks, I stopped
walking and looked at you like I wanted you
to stop it. You tell me like I could. You tell me
I would if I could. In another dream we went
from party to party and we weren’t happy.
We were invited props meant to make
everyone else look normal. You tell me
we absorbed everyone’s tension. We took it
with us to the next parties. We tried pouring it
into glasses made for alcohol but it wouldn’t fit.
We had to take it all with us to your home
with the front porch. We fell back on your bed
like we trusted it was still there (even in a dream),
and we didn’t touch. We didn’t splash into each other
even though it’s what we’re so good at. We were still
and real. We were lined up. We were ready to land.
 
 
 
 



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