Year twenty-five: I redecorate while you tend the dead.
I shift the furnishings to reinvent our rooms,
rake at indentations in the carpet, rename the plants.
You bring the dead out of their dusty darkness
into our lived-in spaces, unwrap them, gently, from their layers
of protection, call me in to look. And though I am afraid at first,
they are beautiful, flattened like folded linen,
gelatinous light over bone. I look to the walls and paint,
endless painting, walls stretching into a tunnel of wall—
True Blue to Violet Ice.
You scuff like a tourist through our house
where I’ve replaced old what-nots with new,
called an old bedroom a new office,
turned the kitchen from Autumn Glory to Frosted Aqua.
You lay the dead out, lovingly, and shine a reading lamp
to admire glowing faces that collapse and sag
around their stopped stories. I look away
to shake out filmy window treatments
that will introduce new views into old spaces.
We work back to back, a Janus-faced union.
You lift the dead, carefully,
like children stilled by sleep, and carry them to the door.
I turn to look toward morning as you step out into the dark.
Georgia Kreiger lives in Western Maryland, where she teaches creative writing and literature at Allegany College of Maryland. She is the 2011 recipient of the Backbone Mountain Review Prize for Poetry, and her poems have appeared in Earth’s Daughters, The 2River View, poemmemoirstory (PMS), The Orange Room Review, Poet Lore, and others.