Eviction Notice

by gm

Steve McOrmond


They’re neat party tricks, I’ll give you that.
When I wasn’t looking, you swapped my hands
for papier-mâché copies of your own.
How do you do it? Making me believe
you’re using the table saw in the basement
workshop when I live on the eleventh floor?
A voice, a tendril of aftershave, cigarette
smoke (your brand) wafting down the hall.
I’m jerked awake, afraid something’s on fire.
When I fly into a rage, dinner table talk
devolving to a blood sport, it’s your barbs
my dummy mouth spits out. My wife holds
her ground; the cat pancakes from the room.
It’s time you quit the premises. We can’t go on
living like china in a bull shop. It’s not
as though I’m putting you out on the street.
You have the spacious heavens to roam,
a million-acre farm. You mean to say
there’s no place you can grow your roses?
I never could talk to you; now it’s even worse.
Pregnant ellipses… non sequiturs. I should
try a Ouija board. How can I grieve properly
when you just won’t leave? You always did
show up unannounced, staying as long
as you damn well pleased. I never stood
up to you when you were alive, but now
you must vacate and surrender the property.
I asked you nicely. I’m not asking any more.