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.)