Let me show you where I live,
not the house,
not the neighborhood,
not the stairs trudged up and down,
not the spaces I fill and
Let me show you where I live.
The halls of memories and mirrors,
the places filled to bursting with tiny boxes,
of buttons and shiny glass and rocks,
and damp handkerchiefs,
Pens on every table and
jars of lotion and oil
and books marked “This” and “This, yes” with curls of colored paper.
One wall of hats,
another of masks
and one vast wall all clean white and empty, an uncapped marker dried and forgotten on the floor.
A broken case spills photos across a leaning table,
a laughing girl,
a grimly smiling woman,
and squares of faded blankness,
with smudges in the corners like question marks.
Bowls of water to quell the burnings
and blankets to smother flames and feelings both.
Starlight, moonlight, sunlight; all bottled and labeled and shining in rows,
bunched and bitter herbs,
and a doll made of scraps whose face with lopsided smile resembles someone you knew once…
Walk farther in,
where there are no corners,
just slumping curves,
the walls soft and crumbling a bit,
scoured and painted in pale colors with salt water and feathers,
where a goldenwood owl stands sentinel in the middle,
and a small leather book is tucked tidily in a low hanging beam,
worn to a satin finish and pages waterswollen and crisped.
It ends here,
and the light may play games with your eyes,
but focus on me,
on my words,
and you will steady.
I am all around you.
This is where I live.