Home Comforts

Rented van,
Driven by rented friend
On the promise of drinks and dinner
Arrives by rented piece of pavement
£2.50 per half hour.

Open shared rented entrance
Into Hallway that by dint of being shared
Belongs to no one
But the house

Rented key turns in rented lock
Opens rented door
Into rented space.
Bare mattress on
Rented bed keeps its secrets
The intimacies of those gone before,
Their ghosts are in the echoes
Of our feet on rented floorboards
In the smell of fresh rented paint job
Chasing out the tang of pot,
Which hung thick in their vanished
version of this rented flat.

Rented friend helps move
Furniture purloined from parents
Into rented rooms,
And leaves when time is up.

Four degrees
Between two of us,
At least one of them rented by loans
Yet a neither of us
Can make sense of the sodding
Dials on the rented heater
Which clunks and whirs
Into action on a whim,
Like some poltergeist staking prior claim
or else sulks in chilly silence
We drink champagne
In our overcoats
And toast to the life we’ve rented together.

At the housewarming
Rented fridge gives up the will to live
And the smell of rotting food
Clears out rented kitchen quicker
Than any drunk crying girl ever has,
While someone breaks the rented toilet seat
Later we row over who will clean the rented bath
And who seems to have smashed
All the wine glasses we own.

My blue and purple cushions
Look strange on rented orange sofa
Until he hangs his Homer Simpson
Version of the Munch’s the scream
Bought to match furniture
On which the lease has expired
and the jumble of colours,
Mine and his and the lord of the land’s
Begins to make a kind of sense,
My books make their homes on rented shelves,
His records theirs,
We joke about buying our own place
An idea as far off
As planting our flag on the moon,
Instead, I plant bulbs in rented earth,
And slowly, our roots
Begin to grow.

In the rented bed,
He will tell me
He wants to spend the rest
of his life with me,
And I will say I do not remember
The moment I fell in love with him,
I only remember realizing
that I already knew I had.
The way you do not remember
Learning to navigate
the house you grew up in
Just that you will always know it by heart
This house belongs to someone else,
These rooms are their property,
But here, between these rent walls,
Is where I am,
Is where he is,
Making rented house
Our home.

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