Seventeen Reasons to Set My Furniture on Fire

Lice, bedbugs, semen.
New Age therapy for pyrophobia.
The furnace died after the first snow. A feisty
and sudden rejection of Materialism. Demons
don’t listen to logic, only fire.
I’ve lived in this flat, dull stretch
of corn and cows too long. Yes, the Midwest
is too long. I hate you,
and there is nothing else to do,
no other heavy oak erotic coffee table with sturdy legs.
I would like to light that table on fire.
A violent desire for a new life
gutted through me after driving all night
throwing small possessions from the window
like my blue curtains that smeared the bedroom
and everything in it blue,
and all the spices on my spice rack, especially
the cumin, and the maps that I keep on my walls—
bus maps and walking tours
from Austin, Amsterdam, Madrid, San Francisco, etc.
I lost my keys. I found my baby mud turtle floating
belly-up in his tank. I had a dream that the couch
was alive and we spent a night together with tequila—
me, calm and sifting through the cushions for spare change,
mostly pennies not for worth,
only satisfaction. And the couch took one
too many pulls on the bottle, lit itself on fire.


Touchstone | Spring 2011