Your second hand rugs,
worn thin where someone paced
before you got them.
You windows that get washed
once a year. Your car in need,
always, of something out of reach.
Clothes that never
measure up to how
they were pictured before purchase
because they were pictured
as solutions or answered prayers,
when they were in fact just clothes.
The few things of substance
you cling to: an heirloom cup or two,
one sturdy chair, good pots and pans
at Goodwill, at the Sally store,
at the perpetual yard sale
two blocks over, every Sunday
morning; the same place you bought
your warmest overcoat.
You do your best though
every bill feels like
a wound and lately
blood has been seeping through
what you’ve dressed them with.
You stay home, away from friends,
from your past life,
as much from fear
of being seen this way
as because you can’t afford
to step too far off the path
you need to walk just
to stay here, to keep
the little bit of an address
you’ve got. Instead you tell yourself
those rugs aren’t going
to wear themselves transparent.
You’ve got all night and all day,
all of tomorrow and next week. You’re tough.
Plenty to keep you busy. Plenty
left to be ground down.