In the Crevices

I try to clean my apartment on Fridays now. Every Friday. Because I’ve got to stop letting things go. That’s what my therapist told me the last time I saw her. I used to see her on Fridays. Now I clean my apartment. It’s weird how much trash can pile up before I notice it. I won’t see any of it till Friday when I’m throwing it into bags. Sometimes I start to doubt that I live alone there’s so much of it. And I find shirts everywhere. On the couch. The kitchen table. By the sink. I get overwhelmed by them. Take my shirt off. Lay it on the back of my chair. It’s been months since all my dishes have been clean. Probably longer. I wash them every Friday, but I can’t get through them. There’s just so many. I’m making progress though. I’ve started going through the couch too. But I’m taking my time. There are a lot of deep crevices. How deep I’m not sure yet. But deep. And there’s no way of knowing what’s in them until I reach my hand down blindly through the cushions and start to pull things out. So far I’ve found a lot of pens. A couple forks. I’m afraid that one of these days I’m going to pull out what’s left of a months old meal. I pulled out a book a few weeks ago. I don’t remember reading it or where it came from, but I put it up on my shelf. I pulled out a note from my ex. I love you soooo much. I can’t wait to spend my life with you. xx I put that in a box in my room. I pulled out the dog I had as a kid. She’s always so excited to see me, but my landlord won’t allow pets, so I had to buy a muzzle to keep her quiet. Made the mistake of pulling out my grandma’s dead hand. Once it was free, it started dragging up the rest of her. I tried to push her back down. First with my hands. Then with my feet. Straining against her shoulders. Tears in my eyes. But she was always so much stronger than she seemed. Now she sits cross legged in my chair cigarette in hand. Tells me she’s proud of me. Tells me I need to go out and get laid. I reach down and pull out a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. God, I hate those things. I drink it anyway. I pull out a mirror and fog swirls around the glass and a voice tells me to ask it questions. Any question I choose. Tells me it will only ever speak the truth. And I smash it against the wall so I don’t have to look at myself.

Mary Means is a queer commie who for some reason still lives in Oklahoma. They are a master’s student studying Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma and a former senior poetry editor for New Plains Review.