When Funds Fail to Meet Demands
The account binders on the shelf that I never had time for. Your ledger of forfeitures and on every line a minus sign. I see my name strategically placed or maybe I only think that I do. What you gave I used up, took away. Everything you ever wanted circled a drain already clogged with my thick hair, your desperation, my homesickness for a place I’d never been. The cheerfulness of the old wallpaper in the kitchen, a remnant of the previous owner, a woman who drank too much and wore a shade of lipstick unbecoming. I said it was an omen, you said it was just another symptom. We existed in our own echo chamber, the walls throbbing with our own desperate attempts. At your request I switched a small light over a carved Buddha every night. My symbolic duty. One piercing point of light cast a long shadow. The house shuddered. It was one single catastrophe: paradoxical in its precision. Devastating in how little remained.
Michelle Reale is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University. She has authored seven poetry collections including the most recent The Marie Curie Sequence (Dancing Girl Press, 2017) and All These Things Were Real: Poems of Delirium Tremens, (West Philly Press, 2017). Confini: Poems of Refugees in Sicily is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. She is the Book Reviews editor for the Rag Queen Periodical and the Editor-in-Chief of Ovunque Siamo: Italian-American Writing.