The poor old man was not right. When we opened his fridge, we saw that it was filled beyond our wildest imaginings, if people actually had “wildest imaginings” about the insides of refrigerators. Do you get excited about a refrigerator’s guts? Some people do. But only a small number of the items in the Frigidaire were actually food. The shelves were chock-full. Ass to mouth were rocks, tools, books, chewed gum on a pink plate, tiny oil paintings of cats he had known, anything really. Anything he could fit in there he had crammed in. Old loon non-censorship universe. There was a brick. What is the expiration date of a brick, we wondered. We asked him why he felt the need to keep such items in there. He said he didn’t want his refrigerator to feel “unrealized.” He knew it existed to make things cold. And he was sympathetically “feeding it things” that it could chill. We understood that he meant in his own schizophrenic way to say that this is what some people do in relationships. They give things to the other person to freeze. Sometimes things get frozen to death. It was confusing to him. Whether the fridge was his lover or not. There was a goldfish in there frozen to death in the ice cube of a Mason jar. He also said he liked his milk to be so cold that he couldn’t even hold it. He was a very, very old man. Now the fridge is out on the concrete in front of his house. So I guess we don’t have to go inside today. Or ever. “Your refrigerator rocked,” Katy said to the air. So we smiled and left.

in the sunflowers, with their little flame skirts of God

I remember that summer
playing ping pong with you
in a clean madhouse

in which you were confined
and wondering,
“Do I have to let him win?”

It was back in the days
when they dressed you
in funny bathrobes,

and insist you make
collages of your feelings,
hang them near the ceilings.

There were always
cheap Van Gogh repros
from K-Mart on the walls

up and down the halls,
but never the good ones
like the bloodied ear

or the times where
V.’s face turned into stars
as he screamed blue spirals.

It was always the sunflowers (or like that).
But you said you weren’t fooled.
You knew that’s what he fell under

when the bullet went in
and failed to do its job
so miserably.

That had something to do
with the reason
you were there.

You always said
his last painting
should have been under them,

looking up
to show how easily
they turned their faces

up, up and away

towards the fire

that drives the day.