Here is another evocative piece by Stanley Anne Zane Latham — “Houseguests.” This poem currently appears in a publication in India, “Poets And Artists Unplugged Anthology.” SAZL was kind enough to let me also run it here.
Staying up with skeletons. Reorganizing drawers.
I require napkins between the spoons, not touching.
You said the plates *here* by the dishwasher –
I said *there* by the table.
Señor Tom Johnson was a name we called the cat.
His business always elsewhere. He sauntered
proverbial. Nuestra casa es su casa.
You never left your hammer out like this,
lounging idol near the jam. The confused photograph,
framed for hanging, waits on the seat cushion,
the warm nail rolls and rolls pressing creases from my fingerprints.
We never interfered. Sam and Jessica quarreled
into a car that sped down the rainy highway. One
did not return. The other we helped pack the turtle,
and load the moving van.
You’d never leave your hammer in the jam like this.
The spoons are not touching. The kettle wails. The wall
is papered in what if, if only, even though, and it
doesn’t matter, with a brush of best intentions.
How are you? After your funeral, my mother poured
milk from a glass pitcher into a clear glass glass.
They mean well, my mouth mouthed
in the maw inside my head.
One plate sleeps by the dishwasher. Not stacked.
Pitcher, hammer, spoon. Things I can grasp.
If you’re going to hang around here all night,
I whisper, at least stir some honey
into this tea.
© sazl 2013