How To Furnish an Entire House
Inherit a bright orange recliner
From your uncle-by-marriage's mother, after her husband dies.
The family joke, with an orange plaid blanket to match.
Travel to Ottawa to visit your cousins.
While you're there, buy a modern metal chair.
Don't think about how you need to take it home on an airplane.
Go to the thrift store and find a wooden lamp base which cost ten dollars.
Attach a cream-coloured lampshade which doesn't have a price of its own.
Buy them as a single unit.
When your grandfather dies, lay claim in his striped telephone table
That was moved into your aunt's basement.
Take your youngest brother's bed with the drawers underneith,
So that he can have the double bad your grandfather used to sleep on.
Let your former housemate leave her kitchen table behind
When she doesn't need one in her new house.
Cover it in a yellow tablecloth so that if you spill anything it can be
Purchase a black butterfly chair at the grocery store for twelve dollars.
On it, drape the blanket your parents brought home for you from their trip to Mexico.
Carry home a desk from the thrift store across the street with your roommate.
Refuse offers of help from passersby.
Offer to store a family friend's dressers while she goes overseas for a year;
Store her blue pull-out couch, also.
Clean out your parents' kitchen cupboards.
After they are done remarking on all the dishes they have not seen in twenty years,
Let them offer the dishes to you.
- Lindsay Zwicker