Persephone Hangs Insulation
I cut the batts long, squish them between
beams, a friction fit unfaced by paper.
Lying in the crawlspace, the whole weight
of the house above me. Little lives moving
in the earth beneath my back.
A man-made mineral fiber spun hyacinth
pink, girlish and soft to the touch. Glass
and slag wool and sand ground so fine
you don’t notice the itch
at first, the burgeoning burn
stealing the breath from your lungs.
I split another batt, rip from the bottom,
slide half behind and half on top
of the old copper pipes.
Insulation is only
as efficient as the installer.
The key is to fill the void completely.
The lives count down underground, seeds curled
in on themselves against winter’s coming breath.
I peel my gloves off and press one hand to the dirt,
the other to the prickling fiberglass. Cold and hot,
a rash of lives, palm pomegranate pink and seeded
with pinpricks of red light, blood rising to the surface.