Beneath the banister,
along the wall, two racks of shoes
and a tall black grandfather clock.
Its face reads eight o’clock.
It chimes. A wooden woman
walks a small mechanical plank.
A row of portraits scales the stairs,
each larger than the last.
Greens and yellows. A man leans
hard on the bathroom door.
Covered with a ringed quilt,
the bed is meticulously made:
too many pillows. Matching lamps
light the matching nightstands.
His hand jostles the knob.
Everything is in its place.
In the center of the room,
a table left in ruin—
a meal heaped on three plates,
a fourth shattered on the floor.
Milk trickles from a tiny mug