I learned of a disease
that kills houseplants:
once one starts dying,
others who share
will also start dying.
The key to preventing a slow plague
is to prune off any dead appendages
quickly, and in regular intervals.
My apartment required treatment:
three-quarters of my houseplants
were steadily dying.
One big chain reaction…
their peers were
do the same?
After learning of the disease
I pruned the houseplants
no mercy for the dead,
less for the straggler.
When I finished, a scratched record
was spinning into the center, with
houseplants diminished to bones.
I stirred the dirt and put the houseplants
into the sink to soak in water overnight.
When I woke up
the weather was
I opened the windows,
relocated the plants
to towels on the table
and prepared eggs,
After I finished eating, after feeding
the yolk to the dog and the bread-
crust to the garbage container, I
the houseplants on their hooks,
fed the fish and watch them feed
(until they appeared satisfied),
fixed the pillows on the sofa
washed a few dirty plates
took a piss in the bathroom
picked my face in the mirror
laid in bed staring into nothing
expecting answers without asking
fed the dog and watched him feed
read a story, feasted on almonds,
walked the dog and watched him shit.