They are small and quiet things
but for the peppers

how the Tupperware
and mass of lids
all a wreckage in the drawer
just got stacked and sorted

or that dirty corner in the laundry room
the brooms now in a row
floor swept

or how about the coffee grinder
the one he doesn’t use
shining and free
of bean dust

these silent signs
I notice

there is a suspect
at the sink
I see his bare back
busy washing
Hawaiian chili peppers
the harvest so big
just standing by the pile makes us cough

I ask things
“did you sweep out the laundry room?”
“did you clean the coffee grinder?”

without turning

how this newness settles in
a few books in a foreign language
now sitting on my bookshelf
a jar of frankincense
befriends my sandalwood
my one peacock feather
has flourished now to eight

slow and seeping changes
but for the peppers

the Bohemian must have cleaned and chopped
four hundred last night
touching so many
set his skin on fire
leaving us to douse fingers
with gooey aloe
and noni lotion

I think I’m relaxing
into this gentle melding of our worlds
so loose am I
I bake chocolate cake at night
try new recipes
let Jeb stay up past his bedtime
no issue
these shifts

book shelves
drawers and cupboards
house soft and subtle changes
but yes
there is still spice

those peppers…

Jessica Dofflemyer ~ all rights reserved

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