932 photos, you tell me
in the camera since the fire,
starting at the Disaster Center.
I look at them all.
A brief history of our life,
seeing it re-grow,
like the branch of a tree.
A man named Art at Red Cross,
telling me to let you talk,
not realizing you won’t.
The burned-out lot,
piles of rusted appliances,
file cabinets, and pans.
Ceramic plates
that looked whole,
but crumbled
to your touch.
Like items clustered
in piles, as though
it mattered, as though
order could be imposed
on what is now termed
debris. Which was
a few days ago your life.

Photos of this house
when we first came,
the furniture the landlord left,
because as she put it,
“You have nothing.”
You and the cat
on the very green settee.
The cat recovering from his burns,
claiming every object
that came as his own.
The wicker desk
he liked to hide behind,
the $3 wicker chaise.
Sofa, ottoman, rocker.
All his.

The photos don’t tell
everything, of course.
Of how things grew up,
a bed from L.L. Bean,
nightstands too.
Certainly not the effort
it took. Time elapsed,
it looks fast – it was
– and easy – relatively,
still, not so much.
Now the house is full, though
categories remain undeveloped,
like books and music.
And daily rhythm,
the way I used to live
my life,
a daily oil massage
before my shower.
These days I usually bathe
and skip the massage,
fearing clogged drains,
among other things.