Carla Carlson

He gives me as gifts
only words now. Today’s word

defined as a north wind in Italy.
Tramantona. Immediately I hear birds

at a lively meeting outside
my window. By seven o’clock,

I’ve missed the cast of dawn. I tell myself
it’s okay to miss what’s amazing.

I had a difficult time locating drapery cords online.
A woman goes forth with what she is given.

A notion of becoming—more attractive, well
more lovable. A notion

of being cared for. Thus.
She begins today with a new level of vigor.

The clothes will be folded into rectangles.
Thus she confirms the evening.

Joins the activities committee.
Making address labels,

reconsiders holiday cards.
Each address fits tidily inside

its perfectly cut space.
Ten down. Three across.  

I must do all things. Like a farmer 
I must milk early. 

I must shuffle new words.
Do not return like shit,

I tell him
as he leaves, angry he left

his anxiety in my sanctuary,
and I’ve swallowed it.