House GoddessDonald Illich
We dig up zinnias from gardens to garland her housewife’s body, give her pantries our offerings of food and wine, which disappear in the night when we’re asleep, replaced by brownies and meatloaf. Driving our new station wagon into her garage pleases her immensely; she loads its trunk with baskets of dresses, boxes of ambrosia and baked beans, dresses cleaners will bless with chemicals that make them new. We ask her questions, “Can we have a new toy? When’s dinner? Is dad ever coming home? Are you going to die someday?” She hands us a lover to play with until it breaks; prepares a hundred meals for holidays so we can throw hot gravy at each other; puts a suit and tie on mannequins for us to throw catch with, baseballs ricocheting off plaster arms; fades into a picture on a shelf, where we query her frozen face, which listens to us Sphinx-like, our six by ten glossy riddle. If we hear our own answers, a scared voice too much like ours inside, we pretend its hers.
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