Two Parts of A Cycle by Brian Ensminger

Work, With The Day to Come

There are days
where, from the couch, I
hear you move
from room to room
footsteps echoing across the walls
and I imagine your hands, thin
and delicate bone
clearing the table, dusting
a shelf, your finger tracing
the lines of the wet wallpaper
floral and elegant like we
always wanted
and I think of all that’s left
to be done:
floorboards creaky, whining objections
to be replaced, cobwebs in the corner,
those bookmarks and signals of
the places we had yet to reach
where light had not touched, vines
all grown, slipped past the vinyl siding
into the floors and rafters-
Part of me hopes
one day, while we lay in our bed
the rafters with their splintered
spines give way and
we fall
the house with us
all tumbling, catching on itself
the windows snapping out
into sprays of light
snared only for moments
and we fall
the chimney following after
us, like a close friend
only to land with all it’s careful
admonition and push
us into the dirty ground,
pass arrowheads, and
fossilized bone,
so that when friends would
pass by,
all they would see is level ground.

We are Spaces Once Filled with Others

Abandoned houses by the interstate
“I suppose we’ll have to do something about the carpet. That leak left some mildew in the padding,”
and each time we peel back the
old wallpaper
falling in chips and dirty strips
we find names written
by some forgotten hand
“1905, James and Samantha”
and labor as we do
first primer then coats of
beige, something calm
“Maybe Venetian molding? Wouldn’t that look nice?”
and I went with my ax
into the backyard, found the biggest tree
cut it down to make a bed
for the daughter we planned
and you throw a record on, something
to lift the must
of work and dusty fingers
“I’ve always loved these old singers. Billie and Frank.”
and we stop to marvel
let it all rise up, the sounds all
scratched and warm, our
eyes eager and cinematic and I
at you
at the fruit of our labor
at the work of my hands.
This one will stand, hold firm.
This one will stand

Brian Ensminger is true blue, Ethel. You can find him here. And this is what he looks like! What a cool dude!


Austin said...

Ok, I'll admit it, I'm in love with Brian Ensminger...and his writing.

He makes Louisville the coolest town south of the ohio.

Shannon said...

Brian is a beautiful writer, and a beautiful person...inside and out.

Always wished that I had gotten to know him better...

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