A Great, Dark, Soft Thing

Le Sommeil by Salvador Dali

Le Sommeil by Salvador Dali

12 May 2013
1:09 AM 5:22 AM
Manila

M.–

You must forgive my lack of eloquence lately in my letters. I’ve become very involved in keeping the house for the past week that every night I am beyond exhaustion–all I want to do is sleep. I fall into bed and already my body is curling into itself, and I have to take a deep breath and will my limbs to move–to write you before the deep dark take me.

Of course–how typical of me to fall asleep in the middle of writing this. And now it is five in the morning and my neighbour’s rooster is making quite a racket.

Was it Erma Bombeck who said, “Housework can kill you if done right”?

Here is what they don’t include in poems or in most stories: the horror of finding that the dog has trampled all over her shit and made a big fucking mess. The frustration of things breaking in your hands: a shower head, a cabinet door, a mop. A ceramic sink falling and shattering into pieces after you’ve just cleaned the bathroom floor. The fire, the fever that steals over your muscles at the end of the day. And so much more.

I mean–I don’t mind cleaning. I think I might even be very good at it, being obsessive-compulsive. I like being methodical and thorough, and I like the feeling that I know things will be clean after I’m done with it. But god they don’t tell you how tiring it is.

Here is a poem now:

Window
Carl Sandburg

Night from a railroad car window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Broken across with slashes of light.

To bed, still.

Yours,
T.

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