Tuesday, April 03, 2012

NaPoWriMo Day 3: My House is Your House

Rayne painted bricks onto the drywall
of her rented room in the basement,

then vines on the bricks, a city behind
that. When the washer and dryer

chattered and the water heater
hissed and groaned it sounded

like somewhere far off where she ended
up running to. We painted a lot

those days, footprints on the ceiling,
names and dates and sold the house

that way, gallons of paint in the garage
the original shade of each room

somewhere in the stacks. Look for
the drip-dried runs down the lip

of each sealed mouth. Break one open
with a hammer and chisel and

I'll bet it's still wet inside.
Whitewash everything and wonder

what we whitewashed to get here.
Cleaning out the attic, we found

a squirrel, hollow and flat and––
like a drum: the skin between

his mummified ribs and limbs.
I was six, no, seven. Our brother

held it aloft like a trophy, wanted
to make it talk, cracked its tail off

accidentally and we all felt cursed,
saw our pupils as black stones

at the bottom of every puddle.
In the basement the cat's foot-

prints were indelible in fresh
concrete, dried sharp enough

to snag socks or skin long
after the cat had died. I don't know

why we never fixed that. Maybe
the same reason we sold the house

without repaving the front walk
where our names and ages were.

They're gone too, without us
doing a thing about it.

There is always someone following you,
marring your footprints with their own.

No comments: