ONTOLOGY, Barbara Young

by Barbara Young

This is my house, this box on paper painted
a touch of coffee in cream. With thick black,
slapdash strokes, it has windows on its sides. Its front–
another window, and a door (to which we shall return).
The back was to be clean but, well, I painted a garden on the wall. Daisies,
mostly, and asters and zinnias (not good at peony, larkspur,
love-in-a-mist complications, suggest them with splats).
Larger than any flower, a bee, black paint and yellow.
So. House, garden, windows. A door that doesn’t open.

Yet: it is a door.
Once, I went to Home Depot and bought
a hollowcore door. I placed it across two 2-drawer file cabinets,
and it was a desk. If I should cut along the lines
of my paper home’s door, remove the rectangle,
leave it leaning, maybe against a flower,
and a gust sends it
fluttering and sliding along sidewalk and street;
leaves it to lie face-down in the intersection. Cars,
the UPS truck, couples with strollers roll over it, making patterns.
Pebbles dimple the paper. Is it a door?

Meanwhile. Empty space remains,
beside the painted window.
Go into the box by way of it,
it is a portal, passage, doorway: door.
I can’t lock the wolf out or my painted cat, in.
It has no hinges and no knob, can’t
be placed across two files and called a desk. And yet.

Barbara Young is aging, without grace, in Tennessee. The fat girl who wrote poetry in highschool gave that up in her 20s, thinking poets were supposed to have something to say. Took forty years to accept that as was wrong. She is fairly stubborn.

Barbara blogs at Rough Words.


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