Articles, Home Life, Mental Health, Poem, Poems

Poem: Styrofoam Ceiling

I remember when voices cut clear
From a clear sky of white and whining
And specks
Of the styrofoam board ceilings.
I wanted to touch the top,

to taint that surface with a flat-fingered graze


To the innards of a hidden hollow roof of plywood. I imagine,
revealing the lost image
of spilled applesauce on my pleated skirt,
the first breath of warm air, stinging after
and slurping Spaghetti-Os.

My near frostbitten feet,
and the steam of warm water in the plastic puke bowl

–my feet were washed and swathed and soothed and the Son taught me to wash the feet of others

let me do so, unto you,
singing that song of
what was it?
Desire and discontent:
I’ll polish your leather shoes
For that penny, and I’ll repent,
confessing kid sins into the grille
To admonish my guilt for curiosity
And cold

With that polish and shoe shine and pretty pennies I still won’t know what’s above the styrofoam ceiling The rectangles and the possibilities
When it was pronged up–

The cavity.

Beyond the starch-white,
Beyond hymnal voices among the pews

–I didn’t know what I was singing.

Mysteries stay mystified,
The styrofoam stays shut and white,
And the voices still whine,
Why haven’t you polished my shoes?

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