Kerry Trautman

At Least

Today, for the first time, I noticed a white house I must
have driven past at least four times a week. At least.

For thirteen years. Only today did I see it, and it’s been
there since at least 1920, I’d guess. Meanwhile

you love these trifling things about me, leaving some of
my vital bits unnoticed. A house is only of use to those

living there right now. White wood siding and trim, white
porch railings and columns, white gable louvers at

the roof peak, all the bleak white of non-decision.
White like snow twelve weeks into winter—compressing

folks down to soggy bootsoles, the smell of green
as forgotten as toddlerhood. It’s not as though I’m

innocent of this type of betrayal, of window-shopping—
gowns and ottomans and goblets blurring past in one

long stream of longing, imagining I could put that there,
use that for this. I never considered the goblet’s desire

to be empty or full, and with bourbon or milk. Not up
to me which belly or spine the gown would

prefer inside it. At least you do love some sleeves
and reflectiveness of me, some transoms and cupboards.

Who am I to decide my value, to dismiss out of hand the
subtlety of white on white on cold and colder white?


Kerry Trautman is a lifelong Ohioan and a poetry editor for Red Fez. My poetry and short fiction have appeared in various anthologies and journals such as The Fourth River, Gasconade Review, Midwestern Gothic, Paper & Ink, As it Ought to Be, Third Wednesday, and Slippery Elm. My poetry books are, Things That Come in Boxes (Kingcraft Press 2012,) To Have Hoped (Finishing Line Press 2015,) Artifacts (NightBallet Press 2017,) and To Be Nonchalantly Alive (Kelsay Books 2020.)