Molly Tamarkin

House Rules

House rules the home
as form dictates function
as structure shapes the nature
of the institution.

Body bears the mind.
Begin with body, with a thumb
on a hand, a limb—two feet walking.
An accident, a blemish, a genetic

squiggle, and man is unmade:
his mind a stub atop a spine,
a chicken scratching for food—
rooster, hen, egg, whatever.

Ascetics would reverse the order.
In that are foolish, are doomed to prideful
unhappiness. To keep the body pure
denies the body’s business.

Better to admit the body rules,
to say hello and let it have
its fun. Who was it said the way
to master sheep is to give them

greater pasture? Some Zen master?
Go on, and let it go.
Open wide the door, wave bye-bye.
Watch it stroll along the plank.