s t i l l l i f e w i t h h u m a n b e i n g s
M A R K P A R S O N S
The parquet missing a few teeth, our parrot's
blue beak gnawing the bars on its cage,
my wife emerges stooped over from the closet.
I point to the radio burning on the porch.
"Field tool," she hisses. My eyes water.
She gets on her knees behind another box
with numbers in red scribbled on the side
and pushes it through the doorway
too small to be considered a doorway, really,
more like an over-sized shutter, something
for animals, disappearing into the plastic garment bags,
and I remember the closet is deep, the deepest
in our house, in fact, here in the front hall.
I crouch at the entrance and hear the periodic scoot
of the box on linoleum, then my wife's voice
stupid and Czech as the day she first spoke
at the table, seven years old her dentist confided
in me, taking me aside at our wedding reception.
Then another voice, a man's I recognize from dreams,
says, "And what a thief he was."