It’s the first time I cleaned my new apartment.
The mess has chipped away at my patience,
Or maybe I just want to find some old things
Like the clothes at the back of the cupboard.
Neat pressing and creases tell the tale of another time
But a thin layer of dust has formed upon them, only recently.
Withered flowers have a smell, or so I gather,
Remembering the detergent I had used in college.
Somehow the smell never left the cupboard.
The dustpan, whose donning brought back the forgotten, lies forgotten,
As time ticks toward engagements I claim to have
So I can avoid people I don’t want to see.
I just noticed that the walls in my house are grey
And the cliche of ascending notes on a harp whisk me to flashbacks.
Recollections swarm of firsts and seconds and lasts
In the shirts and trousers I pinned with those memories,
Glancing at patches as though their stubbornness signifies something.
Nigh is the time for judgement – to put them back or give them up.
The latter seems wise; next time I’ll have others to gloss over
That will regale with stories of a lonely silence, cleaner too.
A final wash and I fold them, all ready to donate
When I notice those stains and, smiling slightly, stuff them into a bag.
The art is taken from Arnaav Bhavanani’s portfolio: CERBEROBOROS