Abandoned House


No other feet pace the rising tide of morning.

None come downstairs for water.

Everyone in here is dead

to the walls which sit like rubbish on the floor.

Familiarities with this place are splintered

between floorboards, settled on rafters, flanked by bookcovers, and

loosed by the gaps opening between other ways of knowing.


This set of walls is falling back onto the world,

an archive of mixed grey skins pushed under my fingernails.

I track the slight

motion of light passing

through cracks in the siding.

How it feels to step on the blanket of a dusty floor,

to break open a high window in an old house and look

around, or

lie back in a dry bathtub.


It sifts down through

an empty room with open windows,

a powder of residue from the unplumbed bathtub above,

saturated with the memory of water, blue against the

outside, the suspended day.


Here I tip-toe, creaking,

the pages of my books thumbed over familiar paths,

provoking ghosts at the intersections.

I am pulling the hair out

of the plaster clutched between slats

so I can pass through your walls,

and know your portrait of the unfastened world.




No other feet pace this quiet tide of morning.

None come downstairs for water.

Everyone here is dead to the walls, which are becoming dust on the floor

and the floor is barely holding

the clawfoot bathtub, a leaking urn.

Open doors, a mantle collapsing.

Derailed counterweights patiently enduring uncalendared days, dangling,

panes cocked in their frames.


The chimney swift from the rafters is drawn out;

I hear the window, met with a progress

of blunt collisions,

a pause, the turn and fold of wings,

a series of tight rattles subdued against the warm egg of its body;

the failures of knowledge

traced in the ashes of

the ambiguous house.


House, a body of thoughts:

spectral moats on a draft,

curls of tired paint, muted

tones from heart of pine, the

tender habits of sleeping corners.

Vague spaces are waking between crumbling textures, termites

writing fissures into the frame--

how ceaselessly things are slipping, through

the excessively ordinary day.