Poltergeist

Someone's been shifting my furniture,
barging the armchairs, and knocking
the living nightlights out of them.

I turn my back, sleeping, and suddenly
the tables are turned, switches jiggle
and books go openly on a rampage.

Spree. My downstairs becomes
the space for some playing dangerous
games, follies, a crackerbarrel

of antics. The kitchen's in on it,
knives are out, a welter of recipes
tugs at the lip of the cupboards.

I sleep in the raw, a new recruit,
jumpy for biting on bullets, hands
skating the white sheets repeatedly.

Come down in the morning, ready
to exorcise, to read riot acts
and stamp on their habit of frenzy.

It's calm as carpet: the high jump,
the fireworks, madcap caramba
have all been returned to their boxes.

The rooms look just as I left them,
benign, deliberate, even tidy:
the chairs and tables parked properly,

the angles as right as ninepence. There
on the wall is the wriggle of red
where I scrawled your name, hoping

to summon you. This is a mess:
my sleep is as light as a half-thought.
In the dwarf hours, all my dreams

lap the shores of your body, gentle.
The rest of the house is a scamper;
someone's been shifting my furniture.

From the book Love Poems