Filaments by Heather Goodrich

Clumps of my dress fall off. So I sweep dress and toast crumbs and coffee grounds and dried noodles and flour and egg shells and onion coats and hair. This tile really should be replaced. And the carpet. And the ceiling above the TV room. Ruined from a leak in the shower. Nobody showered here for years. Mice chewed holes in every box spring. Photos and mirrors cover holes in the walls. Doors shaped like question marks after a tug-of-war of push/push with Dad. Can’t tell unless you look close. Nobody ever does. 
 
Nobody looks. Nobody sees. You do not see this. How can you not see this mess? Then what are you looking at? If I pricked your skin would you feel it? If I carved pig in your flesh would you blink? Nobody would notice this. Blood would clot. This wreck waits to burn. This wreck waits to expel itself. Numb. So numb. Like people waiting in line. Not noticing anything because they’re texting. Not noticing that Loveland has changed. Not noticing because they don’t look. They don’t see. They don’t find the mess a mess. They don’t see a problem. When I scream, they say: Heather, stop the drama. I throw up on them and blocks of gristle stick to their sweaters.
 
I have swept for a week. Blisters and calluses cover my hands. Sweep. Splinters may have pricked me, but my swollen hands won’t feel it. Sweep, sweep. My feet are numb, and I’m nearly naked. Is this floor even clean yet? Outside, the wind picks up and heather no longer cuts the sky. In the foothills, cows and heifers graze in the moors. This ground is volatile cake. It urges me to stop. Don’t beg me to put the broom down. Sweep, sweep. If I stop, things get pretty. I wish I could stop. It’s just that this floor is dirty and I can never say anything.

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