catchy door and sticky drawer ~ B.J. Best


in our house lives a god
of domestic things:  the scorched end
of the spatula, the basement door so pregnant
with humidity it no longer shuts.

he’s an inept god, or maybe just lazy,
letting the vacuum that only turns off
if you unplug it eat the edges of our throw rug,
scuttling across the pale ocean of the floor.

—i’ve been thinking about having children,
my wife’s womb curved and patient
as a comma.  she says we should share our home
with someone besides the menagerie of insects

that wriggle in throughout the summer.
the cat sleeps on the couch.  the dryer
shrieks and shrieks, having lost its bearings
in a wicked game of marbles.

so i say to hell with the god of our windows
that leak in winter like a cold slug.
i need someone to protect the tooth
from chipping on the coffee table,

a flashy meteorite of enamel.
i need the dinner plate to shatter
in a halo when i drop it from hands
red and greased with soap.

my grandmother told me not to put my elbows
anywhere, really, but especially
not on the dinner table curtained in lace.
sometimes at night she would sing:

it’s better to have had your wish
than to have wished you had.  my grandfather
watched clouds.  he said:
catchy door and sticky drawer,

coming rain will pour and pour.