Problems in Space and Time

Someone places a floor at my feet, but because I don’t know what floor is, I call it door and fall through it.

In the kitchen mother is baking father, so it must be Tuesday. At the window of the oven father stares out at me, his hands suctioned to the glass as if he were a gecko.

Under the sink my sister is curled up asleep even though it’s not yet midnight. She loves the damp, the scent of detergent, and mice.

But now mother in her apron of stars is shaking her basting brush at me because I can’t seem to stand up straight. I keep bouncing into the door back and forth like some stupid toy.

Tom Whalen has published poems and prose poems in Chelsea, Five Fingers Review, Georgia Review, Hotel Amerika, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, The Seattle Review, Sentence, The Southern Review, and in several anthologies including Great American Prose Poems and An Introduction to the Prose Poem. His chapbooks of poems and prose poems include Winter Coat (Red Dust, 1998) and Dolls (Caketrain, 2007). He teaches film studies at the Staatliche Akademie der Künste in Stuttgart, Germany.