I sit in another house whose character is
just now forming as we live here &
dust & scrub & clean & wash windows or
just live together now our enemies have gone

– enemies because that’s what friends become
sometimes when they leave us or we leave them
& cast one another out of our lives like
leaves cluttering the lawn, the grass gone too.
–because we are sometimes difficult to live with.

we gossip sometimes & tear one another into
tiny rags we wear in preference to warm clothing
—furs & scruffy rugs made into hair boas
(like snakes) to wrap around us in the dark.

– enemy is not a word of hate, it’s what we call
our lovers when we don’t love them any more
now they’ve rejected us, we live here,
we think of the other house.

the house is old.

it’s like an old person we are getting to know
for the first time, or the second

above the house a hawk dives down 
for a mouse beside the pond, beside
the garden, the rosa rugosa, the
blackberries, beside the house where
the faggots live with their friends.

Ron Schreiber