Saturday, June 29, 2013

POEM: The Lives of Furniture

The loveseat once serviced the buttocks of Louis XIV. “Lou-eee Catorz” is how he says it. He is proud of this. The recliner never complains though he has a meat-and-potatoes life. He knows every Superbowl score since they started holding the Superbowl in 1967.

The piano stool once served in a speakeasy, dodging spilled prohibition beer. She dreams of being with a Steinway in the Biblical sense. She is a kissing cousin to a Stradavarius but does not like to mention it much since the others always make fun of her and she thinks it is bragging.

The end table is stressed – by design – to give him warmth, the marks and chips age him, make him seem experienced. On most days though he wishes the marks were gone so he could avoid all the pity stares he gets.

The hutch thinks he is overweight, and always tucks his drawers in to look thinner. He is tall so the weight is distributed well on him. He is made of mahogany, and the other pieces envy his tan. Still none of the other pieces in the room thinks he needs to lose weight. Sometimes he just feels fat, he says and asks the mirror to move a little so he can catch a glimpse.

The roll top desk likes to read. On rainy days, he rolls up his top, and flips through pages of a book. Sometimes he reads aloud until the others shush him. Near an old replica of an inkwell, are the initials “T.P” carved into his shoulder, like a tattoo. He remembers when the child did that. How much it hurt.

The grandfather clock adjusts his spectacles. His ballasts hang in fatigue. His pendulum carries a weight. Knowing time is a burden. All his springs want is a trip to Bermuda, to sit on pink beaches, and drink out of coconut glasses with colorful, paper umbrellas sticking out of them.

The rocker hums, eyes closed, imagining small children and arms.

The coat rack’s arms are tired, even without having coats to hold.

The couch needs reupholstering. His springs stick out. His arms are threadbare, with patches. Once, though, his foam was firm. Once, people felt majestic sitting between his arms.


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