January 10, 2008
By Rebecca Morris, Buffalo Grove, IL

Her favorite antique lantern
She got for their fifth anniversary
Lies in the hallway,
Glass shattered, carefully handcrafted brass sides
Bashed in, the heat of the argument
Burning the wick.
A stench of cardboard and chloroform
Fills the house,
But lingers
Mainly around the old leather recliner
In the living room with two year old
Pork rhines stuck
Under the cushion and stained from 113
Touchdown passes, 97 field goals,
And the smell of yesterday’s lunch
That abused his stomach.
The sun pierces through the window and shines
On the day old, half empty
Glass giving it a richer, golden color;
That is, until a cloud passes over.
Enough bottle caps lie
On the floor that he could tell his wife he never
Lost his.
His grandfather’s walnut wine chest opened
For every birthday, every Christmas, every Hanukkah,
Every Black Friday.
A key hidden under all the unread brochures,
The self-help books still wrapped in cellophane,
And a single pink slip;
All of these attempting to cover the sweat stains.
A path is worn from the chair to the bathroom
And in the bathroom he sits as cold as
The ice from his last burning sip of Scotch.

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