Ode To A Couch

by Chris Abbate

A neighbor and I drag you down
two flights of stairs,
grunt against your heft,
a dying animal to be euthanized.
We turn your rigid body
gently around corners
as if not to hurt you,
as if you could feel pain.

Set along the curb,
you look displaced,
beige floral pattern
against oil-spotted asphalt,
no longer defined
by the things that once surrounded you.
No longer a haven
for Sunday afternoon naps
and late-night TV shows.

When you were new,
I wicked the slightest drop of water
that fell on you,
fluffed your cushions every night
as if apologizing for laying
the weight of my body
on you so shamelessly.

We are careful at first
with those we love.
The cautious dance,
the asking permission.
Then, reaching the stage
of familiarity, tolerating
the other’s idiosyncrasies.

I wish I could love
the way a couch loves,
to be unconditionally inviting,
nothing but giving.
And to be loved back
despite my shortcomings.
My loose threads
and creaking frame.
My flattened edges.


Chris Abbate’s poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, Cider Press Review, and Comstock Review. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net award and has received awards in the Nazim Hikmet poetry contest. His second book of poetry, Words for Flying, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.

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