Consolation After Paying Rent


after James Tate

My clothes know which of them scarcely, if at all, get worn.

The two-sizes too-small pants share sharp glances:

they are planning a game of hide & seek

later on today about the time I catch the negative balance.

I have frames hung on walls and sitting on surfaces

that hope to wake back up in a murk-bottomed forest.

They know nightmares of sawdust and loss.

For them holding memories for their captor

is ironic and torture.

I’ve uncovered the energetic-play

of trimming fat, of letting things go.

The troll anxiously holding his post at the door

like a tightly wound timer, unknowingly ticking.

And I can feel the heat of a million gears turning

for my landlord’s mortgage.