It’s past midnight when I finish cleaning the kitchen,
sink emptied of mustard water, dishwasher scrubbing and turning.
Free as a Bird plays on the radio while I mop the floor.
The night, broken like glass, its sharp edge up.
I remember this is how it all began. I said yes to the cleaning up,
no to the screw ups, yes to the heartaches, no to the love.
I loosen the strings of the apron and stretch my feet out on the patio,
light a joint. Then I go inside the dining room, stack the chairs,
throw the soiled napkins in the washer, keep the memories,
and snuff the candles. Singing to myself, I set the table again,
empty bowls and plates. I draw the curtain to
ex-boyfriends, love letters, drugs, recipes and silverware.
I say my name out loud.
Published in Common Ground Review, 2017