Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Housework

The house leaned to the side – a gothic, miniature version of its
popular cousin in Pisa. Concrete stairways flanked it on both sides,
leading up and down dark pathways one could take with
legs on. The house was trying to grow those –
feverishly aiming to escape its planted, boorish fate.

It wiggled and twitched, contorting every which way
in its aspiration. It was getting there,
thanks to the middle gash commonly called a door.
It helped it breathe though it wasn’t nearly wide enough.
The legs it gave were elephantine, two graceless trunks.

But still, that center allowed for the shape of possibility.
It just needed a little more effort or a bout of inspiration
- something to turn the impossible on its head.

It knew it needed to slim down.
So it pulled itself up by the rootstraps,
tugging it up, up, upwards.

So that it now found itself in its amorphous shape.
Looking at times like a beanbag stretched gruffly from both ends.
In its becoming…its just being there, it was not this or that
and especially not the other thing.
Into black to begin with,
it held existential airs.

“What does IT think it is!” passersby said.

Hearing that, the house shook, clamping their mouth shut in fright.
Fantasies of crushing came and went.
It only provoked further ridicule…blows
a strong house had to swallow.

Still, the house was best defined for its longing,
clearly partial to the left path, but
the neck of it was now impossibly narrow.

In its craning, the house was very
likely responsible, elbowing as it does with its girth.
Pressing its desires.

But to say something would only hurt its feelings.

That left the right staircase, if going up was the plan –
and wasn’t it always?

Though tumbling down was padded with delights,
it was still not easy a plan, with its mighty teeth.

In any case the right path ran in a clear strip, up or down,
clearly a more practical if less interesting option.

But it would take some preposterous time to do either.

And now the furnace was cold, and it was getting late.

Upstairs, on the top floor where the house slept
on a coarse mattress made of straw with a blue felt blanket,
its walls green, pockmarked and snaking towards little
pinhole-eyed windows, it went blinded and glassed.

There is always tomorrow.

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