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Hot Tin Roof: Self Help through IKEA Furniture Assembly


Hot Tin Roof

By Harrison Cook

The dream fills the room
when we unpack — the parts — the makings of
our soon-to-be kitchen table.
I remember reading that IKEA furniture
in particular is more self-gratifying
than the non-IKEA do-it-yourself-put-it-together furniture
because of the self-assembly required.

The dream fills the room
from the faucet drip
from the water bill
which is gunna be outrageous this month
from all the spontaneous shower sex. You promised —
back to the table
Peg A fits into impress B only when you use the directions
or when forced.
Make the screw dig-in-deeper
just stand there and watch me struggle—please.

The dream fills the room —
that is what the schematic leaves out.
The part where I’ll be here
every single day — every week holding up the legs while you fumble
with the pouched screws.
The line where loneliness is only a memory.
That is what the schematic leaves out and then forgets.
I was mad at you because the people who actually live here came home
the next fixer-upper never planned.

The dream fills the room
and I’m still here
in the house that isn’t ours.
So, you can finally come home.

Harrison Cook is a senior studying writing, publishing, and people at the University of Iowa. He also interns at ‘The Iowa Review’ and is the editor-in-chief of ‘earthwords: the undergraduate literary review.’ His play entitled ‘ECHO’ will be produced in the spring through the University of Iowa Theatre Department. This article was originally published in Little Village issue 232.


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