My parents renovated that old home.
It is clean as a lobotomy.
The cracked linoleum’s erased.
Now new hardwood floors are gleaming.
Gone are gold shag rugs, the shade
of California August
on which I lay beneath the dustmotes
studying the drift of genome, species, phyla.
Gone is the cracked pink bathroom tile,
vanity of some 1940s bride;
gone the shameful faux wood paneling,
dark embarrassment of my teenage years.
They’ve added a backdoor to the kitchen
where night after night I fought with my mother—
& I, who spent a decade sending hatred
towards a glittering asbestos ceiling,
have only a distant dump to hate,
& the settling of old carcinogens:
My ancient vehemence is confounded
by a brightly lit new silence,
emptiness beneath the open vaulting.