How long do we stare at a toppled basket

or rotting pear, drooling brown out the bottom,

bat fruit flies away instead of tossing the inedible flesh?

We watch flowers die,

keep them until the stench is uglier

than the shriveled petals—

beautiful some days,

why else would we hang bouquets

upside-down in the closer

to dry, preserve their death?

Is it laziness, resignation,

the comfort of disorder,

or the need to see how long it can all last?

(And if we half-heartedly wipe our sleeve

over a dusty framed picture on the desk,

it will be eerily re-coated in what feels like a day.

Those faces will become artifacts anyway,

portraits of ghosts

until a stranger heaps them in a trashcan grave.)