Little Dream Chore
Jordan Reynolds

I have trouble
telling whether
what I pick
from the carpet
is leaf or almond
skin.  The headrest
snapped to the
chair hangs back-
wards like a sad
trap.  All evening,
listening to the fridge
boot on, cool itself
in such a cold house,
I dream of paper
crowns and children
laughing, their
faces covered in
chocolate and sugar
like warming snow.

After raking the
yard of the yellow
leaves, the drive
is easier to follow.
Some still cling,
small lemon-skinned
fans, to the Spanish
tiles that hug
and link to form
the roof.  I'm sure
we all looked like
dying lobsters,
scooping from the
piles we'd made
into the green waste
container, now
too full.  When
we were jumping
to compact them
I imagined a rabbit
hole opening,
a mumbling door
handle, or a room
with bottled pills;
but the paper crowns,
the sugar, the smell
of winter over-
coming air.  And
grinding the brown
piece of fodder

I picked from the
beige carpet, I decide
it is leaf-brown
after all.  I am nothing
short of disappointed.
How could I have
skinned an almond
so perfectly, using
just my teeth? 
How can I tell when
the refrigerator is
cold enough?  Who
is sitting in the chair,
and do they need rest,
and do they want
the pillow that hangs
back so sadly, so much
like something dead,
like something
completely gone?

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