Tomorrow There Will Be Therapy For This

The house is not burned down.
It sits on top of the hill, overlooking
the other houses like a guard dog.
You stare out the window and see a sign

from your childhood that reads:
"Slow, Children at Play"
but you don't see any children
so you wait inside your house
made of broken bottles,
ignore the mail piling up
on the table because it's not
your job to keep things organized.
You are the one who fixes the vacuum
cleaner when it breaks, while I

sit on the couch with the bright
orange notebook (easy to find in the clutter)
preparing a page for each month--
mortgage, utilities, credit cards, car payment
leaving blanks beside the words to fill
when the time comes, when these things
become due, to help me remember

something from my childhood, you said
in order to save us we must understand
where we come from. And I point
to the sign on the road that reads:
"Caution: Bridge May Ice In Winter"
but you don't believe me because it rarely
ever happens in the South, and when it does

we are taught to be prepared,
stock up on the essentials: milk
and bread is all we need to make it
through. And I believed you

until this morning when I realized
I've been forgetting to water my plants,
the house keeping me up all night
trying to set itself on fire.