Meaning the soft tufted heads
of carpet fabric I clean on hands
and knees with a brush since the vacuum
doesn’t really take out everything.

Meaning the mountain of envelopes,
unopened from two or three years
back, with expired credit
card and refinance offers.

Meaning the stacks of papers
that teachers take home to read
and grade— sometimes you see them
carting their wheelies across campus.

Meaning the money we spent on goods
and services before the money we got
—therefore the money we now owe
and have to pay back in trickles.

Meaning the little beds of laundry
sitting in their baskets in every room,
which alternately I gather up in my arms
or toss over the railing down the stairs.

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