mondays get all the heat

by M. F. Sullivan

when i was five or six
we lived in an apartment
and every sunday
i'd lie on the carpet
to watch squares of sunshine
crawl across the rug
while my mother inflicted upon us
a centuries-long hour of television
worse than any droning mass.

it must have been
a local channel,
cycling through houses for sale
while a placid female voice
read points of interest over pictures of castles
where we could never have lived:

two bedrooms ,
three baths,
two-car garage.
all things other people had
punctuating a dreary day of the week
that always ached along
even before the advent of school or work

or your body in my bed
and its inevitable absence
when the clock turns over
to mark another week of labor
that makes me need you all the more.

at the top of the hill
the boulder pauses just two seconds,
long enough for sisyphus to forget his pain
and hope against better judgment
that this time it might stay--
then comes the slide down

ten fifteen twenty feet
momentum gained all the way
just as sundays have always been
a saltine cracker sort of day
with a storm cloud edge of pain never more acute
than when watching pictures of empty houses for sale
or listening to your breath while i write this poem
beside your sleeping form.