Poetry: “Troublesome Phenomena about the Room” by Andrew S. Chen

It starts with the changing of a light bulb.
Continues with the putting of jackets
on hangers, the closing of a closet door.

The Teflon flakes off in the pan,
saturates the day with carcinogens.
Scrub it, rinse it, dump it down the drain.

Cultivate that blackened bottom taste.
How well the household chores agree
with a dark night, the spindling fix of a seam.

The sad thing about private lives
is they go unsung to the grave,
as funeral attendees steal toasted paninis

and banana bread. What will become
of the photographs that live on?
Shoebox. Nightstand. Blaze of glory.

Every letter you write from now on
will bear the stamp of this exercise.
Think of how it will be carried as wind

carries a sailboat, how you ought
to read it backward, word by word.

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