A Natural History of My Apartment

Dylan Jesse

I would like to write a natural
        history of my apartment
where I dust my artificial ficus;
where I sweep away the stinkbugs
        that have died on windowsills,
        legs clutched into their undersides,
        a buggy I'm coming to join you, Elizabeth!;
where the long cycles of Pennsylvania freeze and thaw
        give the winter air opportunistic teeth;
where the stone walls ask me to join them in the rain,
        to listen to geologically-long stories
        about nights alone in the quarries,
        their long gestations underground;
where the baseboards gather loose hair and dust
        and fallen skin cells: here, you almost
        forgot about these, but it's all right—it's easy
        to let the small things slip away;

where the floorboards are still hardwood,
        remembering their lives as oak trees,
        how they would cast an orange net
        over their roots before winter, huddle back
        into their pore-streaked grains.
I would like to write that history
        the way I hear it told to me
        when the floorboards creak needfully
        in the December morning chill,
the way things communicate nakedly with touch,
        if they happen to touch.


About the Author

Dylan Jesse is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he currently resides. Dylan works as a detective for a private security firm and as a standardized patient for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in order to pay the rent while he works on a chapbook of poems inspired by the work of the late Carl Sagan.