THE LIGHTBULB

RICKY RAY

 
 

The lightbulb in the hallway had trouble making connections.

I was hopeless to help him, too short to reach the ceiling,

 
my ladder lent to an ex who never returned it.

There were signs that something was wrong.

 
His friend the fly visited less frequently.

I thought it a lull in the warmth of their companionship.

 
For days, I’d come home, flick his switch, and he’d wave at me—

not at all his style. He was more the type to shroud.

 
Then I tried him yesterday morning and he wouldn’t move.

Three shakes later, he opened his eyes. Obviously,

 
the end was near. I felt depressed. I’d taken a shine.

I liked the way he made the letters stand out against the page,

 
the shadows he cast as I lowered my breasts into the bathtub,

how he blended with the day but, come nightfall, could rival any star.

 
On the train home last night I imagined grieving processes

for bygone sources of light. I opened the door.

 
My finger trembled as I groped along the wall.

An inch later his sole synapse misfired and everything went dark.

 

 
 

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