The Old House

I am back in the old house,
where I kissed no girls 
and kissed no boys,

then kissed them all at once,
in a sort of reaping motion, 
‘round one spun bottle
drained of its Triple-Sec. 

I am back in the old house,
where I loved the dog 
who bit my mother often.

And where a starling found 
a laceration in the drywall
and died behind my bed.

I am back in that house.


Where I hid my weed 
in a collapsible Death Star 
the size of a softball.

I am back in the yard 
where every passing ant
was a chance to prove
my mercy or wrath.

And I threatened to run 
away forever, which is
a child’s way of saying
something unspeakable.

I am back in the old house,
fist-marks in the drywall,

Hoisting plastic crates 
heavy with winter purses 
and Phillips Heads gone sticky.

There are photographs 
of prehistoric aunts
and photocopied terms
of the divorce.

I am back in the old house,
poltergeisted by apologies.

Gremlins of resentment
in the gears of the recliner. 

I am back in this pillared maze
where we suffered and rejoiced.

Where I practiced Foxy Lady
for weeks until, my God, 
I thought I really had it.

This poem was originally published in the Fall 2021 issue of Sequestrum.