Zorba: Domesticity

I was proud of those six timber-rattler rattles
lying on the window sill in the living room
because I was the one who killed their former owners
bowing to requests by everyone there to rub out
the surplus in the sierras that summer of sixty-four
and I laid them in the sun so yellow-jackets
could clean the meat away from the rattles
which you ate while my back was turned.

We couldn’t get the walls in our kitchen
really white because years of others’ greasy cooking
had turned them grimy yellow while the stove itself
and the refrigerator and the sink which also started off
white got chipped or worn or rusted or just uncleanable
and in fact nothing in the kitchen would ever be as 
bright-white as its creator had made it except for that
three-foot tapeworm I carefully pulled from your butt.