Falling asleep in my chair
to the tick of the radiator
feels safe here.
I waiver between consciousnesses,
list the things I have to paint,
pretend that I will create a tidy home,
but, secretly, I like the peeling.
When I am old
and being wedged out of my apartment,
some younger person will point at my windows
as proof of my inability to care for myself.
They will not know
that I curated them like artifacts,
that I ran my fingertips over the rising flakes,
watched colours peel away in layers,
and imagined who painted that layer,
who picked that colour,
what furniture it matched.
Did the person who painted the frame
keep the doors closed
to hem in the delicious fumes a little longer?
Did they argue with a partner
about a particular shade of yellow?
Aidan and I went on for some time
about shades of bird's egg.
I list how many cans and what kinds of brushes,
I decide on a warm shade of cream, maybe two,
and I tie a tea towel around a dripping pipe.
I've already written this story.