10-Line Tuesday

February 11, 2014

the aardvark in the armchair

He sits in my seat, leaning against the corners, looking relaxed
as all get-out. "What's the big deal?" he seems to be asking, as if
he hasn't seen the tray of breakables I'm juggling, or the list of deadlines
and bills spilling out my pockets. And I, flame-cheeked and bristling
with fatigue, nevertheless stay quiet, let him keep his familiar comfort
and turn, instead, to the stiff-backed stools in the center of the small mayhem
that is my kitchen. The isolation burns and pinches, yet I keep staring
at his soft, little body as if he's the trouble, when it's my silence that corrupts
this conversation. Eventually, the countertop will tell the story, littered
as it will become. No mess can withstand solitude. Not mine. Not anyone's.