The House my Father said he’d Burn to the Ground


in the days when my body was not big enough to penetrate doors    i believed in love.          believed sleep was a still place in a darkness of limits, that love was a song we were learning to sing       that songs were hymns and silence was closing. that when the door shut my father would not set my mother’s skin on fire       that behind those doors love lived with the kindness of dreams.


but as those days strip like the velocity of broken wings, doors thin     skin pressed to the splinter. and love, the stillness of drowning, tightens into a fist on the brass handle’s swing. i could be nothing then       but listen. meanness was unknowable. my auricle a bay of milk pressed against a door on fire.

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