gerry and martha, a love story

by essayan hart

when you were alive, gerry
i took you to my white kitchen
in america,  as seen on tv

i didn’t have the tools at the time
to chronically apologize
for my sisters averted gaze
or my mothers indifference

you, of course, saw the whole scene
as an opportunity
to dance out your stereotype

there should have been a brick wall behind you
but no one knew you were joking
no one but me

you set yourself up in the white corner
i had to stop you from leaving your guitar case
open on the floor

you stopped trying to speak to them
my family, who had quickly become a carnival around us
you tipped your hat to one side
and smiled a half drunk smile

i went mad with you that night
but we never discussed it

instead, over ice cream and pie
when the kitchen was empty
and the white noise of the football game
flooded in from the den

you pulled down a Martha Stewart cookbook
and said
ive got it all figured out. ill be Martha’s pet. wouldn’t it be perfect? i’ll build sculptures next to my bed out back. ill weld napkin rings and crockery. it’ll be perfect, me and martha.

when you were still alive, gerry
we laughed until they came back down stairs
the most obvious interjection
white on white  noise