The Rusty Toque | Issue 1 | Poetry | | July 2011
THE THINGS THAT NEEDED CLEANING UP
The shattered window lies
neatly on the floor, under the
corner of the flamboyant carpet.
The ripped curtains are piled where
they fell, but the walls have been
wiped clean of the oppressive
pink triangles, echoes of another regime,
another place, another time. The papers
are gone: no longer allowed to spell out
When you pull yourself off the floor,
perhaps after you splint your broken wrist,
you will find our suitcases missing.
I’ve come out to the river to get rid of him,
right after I cleaned up the mess that he
made. I suppose it must be me who
puts in the new window, fastens new handles
to the closet doors. It must be me.
For too long, things have been left
The long succession of thieves has been
too much. They come out of the white house
on the hill, perhaps expecting to find
lace curtains and black satin sheets.
But that is not what they ever come for.
Perhaps if they strip us of our rank, we’ll be
silent. I can’t live without integrity any longer.
After sixty-five blows to the head, the deed had
been done. The feeling was peculiar: it felt like
SCOTT BECKETT writes short fiction and poetry. His recent writing examines reader assumptions of gender and gender roles. He took Writer’s Craft in high school and is currently majoring in History and minoring in Creative Writing.