Our first house is rented.
Mauve bedroom walls, thin curtains,
windows open while we make love in the daytime.
We joke about the bachelor next door,
his heavy footsteps on uncarpeted stairs,
the girlfriends we wish for him.
The kitchen sink is always blocked on Sundays,
when families visit. I long to forget
gravy and grease, to stroll
through the cornfield across the road,
be part of its yellowness.

*

In house number two, we learn
how dreams are spiked by mortgages.
I remember the predatory smiles
of jogging women, golf-committee women,
experts in killer sports:
              the older ones
ease the balls off their men with every passing year,
slip them from the sac of innocent lust,
just by talking, talking. Some days I sweat,
frightened by the violent suburban silence
behind all the words.
Our walls offer no respite.

*

Later, I dreamed of a summerhouse, with octagonal walls,
a view of the sea. I tried to lay foundations.
It would be a place for making good
the snags, for rendering till smooth, for bedding down
before uncurtained windows,
on a gull’s grey wing blanket,
curled like two shells
together. Not even the ocean would part us.