This house only gets warmer in the rain.
Contracts, sinks itself into its mummification.
It can and will survive without you, one of these
days it will learn to hobble against its crutches without your
hands grazing its walls as you walk by, without your
feet sweeping its floors like a knife spreading
warm butter and quiet Christmases and
lonely porch lights and oakwood nightfires and
hot apple cider and electric blankets and
safety and warmth all for an unoccupied
palimpsest, trying to adjust to life in the
fourth season without your broken shell
to light up the room.
But I remember you, standing there.
Looking like a prisoner leaning in the doorway.
Fishhooks, earrings, keychains, debts, all
dangle from your eyelids like a spill,
but it spreads
all the way to Brooklyn? To your new boy,
to some wing under which you are not allowed to fly
but only to sleep?
Speak about us in the days of our house--
were we Judas back then? Sir Galahad?
A clumsy eviction notice? Or a needle full of heroin?
It's cruel, that we are born to understand our shortcomings by
That time is what determines our porosity, but through
time and time alone can we know
where we hid.
(Dedicated, in part, to my father and the frustrated poet inside him.)