by Genie Zeiger

Sometimes I'm married to a house.
Floorboards caress the balls of my feet,

the walls inquire how I am, ivy twines
up the bathroom wall in my name.

Sometimes our land, June-full of flowers, birds,
and trees is my ceiling, the rain my floor.

I walk on air or water, depending upon the light
of my ideas. I lose track of my husband: he could be

Brando, Jehovah, or my mother Ruth, depending
upon the day or my need. I remember my parents

fox-trotting to Sinatra across the small Oriental rugs,
smiles on their lips, as I sat watching

from the green couch swinging my legs.
my mouth open as our parakeet, in her cage,

held to her perch looking bored.
SometimesI think I'm married to the birds

in our yard:a phoebe, long-tailed and plain,
keeps trying to build its nest on a ledge

too small; each morning Isweep up
strewn grasses and straw, the waste of

feathers and time. A redthroat visits the feeder,
opens her attenuated beak, dips into the pink

sugar water my husband provides. Sometimes it's him
I'm watching, the river of his back, the hay colored

crest of his head, his left hand holding
a cup under the shiny faucet,

which is long and bent, like a spent sunflower,
a hook, a dream.

Last updated December 19, 2022