There is much to be done
in this old house.
I wake in the dark dreaming
the poetry of repair—
fixing every room
and slipping egglike soaps
into porcelain dishes.

But I wake at the same time
every night and wait
fruitlessly for the gray
along the curtains to glow,
but it is ghost time
when the obscene calls
of the night come in.

Along the dawn wall
the oil-based white
reflects a light blue.
The ladder is cool to the nose.
By noon I have to back down,
dazzled by the wedding white,
dehydrated by lust.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 6 Number 2, on page 49
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