Sifting in the Afternoon by Malachi Black
A problem when I’m wronged: it takes awhile to forget. The other day I was thinking of leaving. I finally own things. I can leave. Once I was told that I cannot take what I didn’t buy. I have taken care of things since then: I have bought clothes, bags, books, machines where I can do my work. I have a bank account. In some respects, I have learned to be an adult even if I didn’t really want to. But you’ll be alone, my sister said, worried. Who will love you?
What of it, I said. I am so exhausted with everything I think it’s time I finally be allowed to be alone.
Sifting in the Afternoon
Some people might describe this room as spare:
a bedside table and an ashtray and an antique
chair; a mattress and a coffee mug;
an unwashed cotton blanket and a rug
my mother used to own. I used to have
a phone. I used to have another
room, a bigger broom, a wetter sponge.
I used to water my bouquet
of paper clips and empty pens, of things
I thought I’d want to say if given chance;
but now, to live, to sit somehow, to watch
a particle of thought dote on the dust
and dwindle in a little grid of shadow
on the sunset’s patchy rust seems like enough.