MOLLY KUGEL MERKNER
Mid-century Modern Sofa
We passed it from one to the other like a joint,
and it took up residence in dorm-like apartments
filled with Yuengling, anthologies, new flames
and late nights watching reality television over boxed
sustenance and of course boxed wine and always
boxes, belongings strewn about the temporary dwellings,
one foot in one state and the next in Florida or Colorado
or back to Pennsylvania and even California.
And the couch followed us without much fuss,
its shape slipping easily on its side against the metal U-haul bed.
It now seemed to see all the things our older brother never could,
gone too soon to ever leave our mother's house.
He lay on the woolen cushions all day in his last months,
a view through the knotted pine window, wooden arm at his back.
The wood was so heavy, solid, architectural, impossible
to carry for too long; I couldn't understand why my mom didn't want to keep it.
It had been in the basement for years amidst our Fisher Price
and her sewing machine, but she'd torn away by then.
The straps kept snapping and we kept re-stapling, kneeling at its side to mend it,
the way I once knelt beside it, trying to pull my brother from sleep.
Molly Kugel Merkner's poems have appeared most recently in Flyway, The Buddhist Poetry Review, Subtropics, and Poetry East. She lives with her husband and two children in Denver, CO. (firstname.lastname@example.org )