Reliquary

— Casey FitzSimons

As I enter the house, the floor
creaks over dry joists, announcing
my presence on the carpet. Memory
lurks, but hidden and harmless, last soot
settling in disintegrating weave. But my hand

on the smooth pull, the rattle as I
open the kitchen drawer, disturbs
unfinished conversations, the repose of
lapsed glances. Like the rib cage of a small saint,
the eggbeater rests in arid air, insensible

to veneration. I’m reluctant to rouse
the past it touches. Lifting this utensil now,
extricating the carrot peeler that impales it like
a lance, would stir to alertness
the indignation of neglect, might demand

engagement. Nothing here I want, I say
to the agent. My own echoes decaying
in other rooms meet the foot-scrape of grit
on porous linoleum. Okay, then, he says.
 

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