First, there's a hatching
in the crawlspace, the kindling
of hair. Something getting out
of hand. Then, riots in corners.
Water-scrawled walls. She's aware
of the changes, the ringing
round her eyes, fur around her mouth.
Unbecomingly a foxing. A murk
at the center. Something
is eating at her. Located in the velvet.
Dressed out like an animal,
she thistles and fickles. She fawns
in a murmur of milk. Grows feral.
Febrile. Soft as the inside of teeth.
After the demolition of skirts, the salting
of beds, after the spectacle of fingernails
and the binding of thighs, I unclasped
the sternum and opened this cabinet,
this hush under the skin. Rust in the limbs.
A Ferris wheel spinning in a weedy lot.
That was the year I broke every window
with my want, the year the sea went hoarse
and flowers spoiled in their vases.
How shabby the past looks when you come
upon it by accident, like some botched trophy.
Mould on the upholstery, a baggie full of teeth.
After the digging, after the swerve,
after the path was devoured in a wilderness
of mouths, I folded all the remnants
into birds, into boats, into little white trains.
It was then I took to reading in stairwells,
sewed up my pockets, nailed shut my hands.
In the end, every house is all but sand.
Once, you traded in for larger, newer models, and now
your hand fumbles, turns,
as tumblers to the lock. Grit to the tide.
You've learned to make do. Pearl
and otherwise. Chambered, calcified,
the world is a curiosity
you scuttle through, isolate and hoarding.
From davenport to dust.
Each rafter a raft. But there is more
to growth than movement, my hermit,
my hatchling. More to home than door.
Lift this house to your ear. What knocks
in the vestibule. What haunts in its hinges.