This town could be a stage
prop for Our Town. This house,
a façade which can’t be torn down.
It has been in the family too long.
All of our fathers died here
tipping brown bottles back, frosty
from a General Electric Monitor Top
refrigerator, plugged in
since wars none of their sons
or daughters even remember.
Out of walls, shedding paint flesh,
the pots and pans on nails jut,
dough rollers, cutting boards,
dish soap in cans, vegetables
in mismatched Tupperware; around here
expiration dates last longer.
Against the living-room wall
plaid patterns push against bloodroot
and dusted blue curtains,
while grandfathers twirl
their thumbs and hum, waiting
to forget their forgetting,
how they chose to remember
memories crack like a swelling
of cicada-static opening a storm,
leaving behind wet shells in the skull
watching swivel-set televisions
shut off after their glow and pulse.