We lived here once,
a house built for students or servicemen,
groups of unrelated people.
Stranded on a pale corner,
dull as a sleepwalker.
Had a family ever lived here?
This house held no memory of such things.
We kept to ourselves.
We kept it almost empty.
At night wind climbed the porch steps,
leaned a shoulder against the front door,
sieved through the screens.
Days turned on edge, thin and sharp.
They stacked flat, easily, one over the other.
I searched through drawers,
grabbed every book by its spine
sorted photos into piles
looking for a reason.
knocking over plates
and burning holes in pillows.
Mornings I’d sweep glass into the corners,
broom banging against the baseboards.
The walls stood still, pretending not to notice.
We moved away.
The house remained vacant,
beer bottles and cellophane wrappers
stuffed in the shrubbery,
windows like mirrors
blank to all that passed.
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Photo by Glenn Hansen on Unsplash