Everything’s muffled with this blanket
the color of the Sound on a rainy day.
Mice nibble under the blanket.
They chew away at me and the blanket grows
thicker and thicker…Should I go back to school?
Should I take that waitressing job?
My feet hurt just lying here.
The mice keep growing; maybe they are rats
with thick, blue-gray coats and scaly tails.
They don’t nibble, they gnaw,
What does everyone think of you,
lying there on the couch? they ask
again and again with their teeth.
We all know I’ll live out my days
washed up on my mother’s couch
and then my brothers will come
and turn me out. Already, they nibble,
Why don’t you do mom’s dishes,
mow her lawn? Why don’t
you just try a little harder?
Why don’t they gnaw on cornflake boxes
or old take-out cartons and unread mail?
Instead I shuffle through these to see
if anything new has appeared
in the fridge. It never has, just as
nothing new ever happens on TV.
The blanket gets thicker. Even the rats,
grown fat on my worries,
can’t move under the weight of it.