by Anne Carroll Fowler

All summer I painted the first floor
of the three-decker in Davis Square, Somerville,
our starter home, our fixer-upper. Each room
a different set of colors, that was my young idea,
bedroom lavender with white trim, kitchen orange
of course, it was 1972. Meanwhile my husband
brought home news from the Pub: skinny Moira
was rushed by ambulance to the ER
at Cambridge City. Smitten with altruism
he went to visit her. She won't eat,
it's a disease, he reported. We hadn't heard
of anorexia, then. Thin is sexy my husband said
and to be perfectly clear he added, in case
you're interested, I've never
fucked her.
_____________Blue and gold, I decided in the living room,
thick shag rug. My mind was round, black, blank,
one of those Magic 8 balls, and a word "sexy"
would float up"disease" then submerge
________________I finished the sewing room in yellow
then moved upstairs to tackle the third floor flat
under the eaves. Just room for one, but the wide board
floors painted up handsomely, a deep glossy red,
and oh! its cozy kitchen-- its one round window,
its old soapstone sink.

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