By Katherine Gotthardt Somewhere, there’s what I should be doing, somewhere between the smudged edges of you and me, between the places where time and things collect, and I become a bit overwrought. I look around this room, this one room, and I am breathless – not because it is beautiful, not with appreciation, not with anything more than angst at all the things that have come in and never seem to leave. I see them somehow replicate, pile themselves on knickknack shelves and end tables, chests of drawers and desks, the flat surfaces of life that attract too much, always: a cracked ceramic candle holder your mother gave us on our wedding day, (it wasn’t cracked then, but how can we get rid of it, now that she has passed?) an old gold soap dish that just needs a dusting, (then we can put it back in the bathroom) two tarnished hoop earrings that could use a little polishing, last week’s champagne glasses, stems sticky with vintage wine, a pretty little journal with a bluebird on the cover, mating colors muted by an ancient coffee ring. That is just the beginning, and I am starting to sweat. I feel like a sliver, slid into the thin layer that barely separates myself from everything that makes me me, everything that makes you you, and everything that surrounds us both. Cobwebs in the ceiling corner, fan circulating the particles of decades, I come to a sordid realization: I am either a mess or a hoarder. I am either old or too sentimental. I am either the person who can’t let go, or someone who just can’t declutter. I ask you which it is, and you look at me and shrug, rubbing the full belly of the snoozing dog beside you. You go back to the book you were reading. I turn to the notepad in front of me, continue writing poetry.