Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

A Doubtful House

A Doubtful House

Photograph via Flickr by melancholy rose

The Doubtful House
Once upon a time don’t you think you didn’t always feel
like this
slogging through wet concrete a slippery foundation were you your mood
then ephemeral unless captivated less a dense
humidity swells the interior pushes against un
even doors refuse to slam
windows with dim views won’t budge in any room here it’s impossible
to breathe so stop trying
not to wonder if everyone
who lives in a house with someone
else is a little crazy eventually
what was hard and fast
becomes hard and slow going without saying
uncomprehendingly laying
blame the other for being
incomprehensible
where once you saw you were seen you were you and not you now you
suspect the very syntax
of your thoughts
have a life of their own or is it just you
who says everything you say is strangely off
like an unplumb house
sinking east spun west on a compass
like you’re living bicoastally
or bipolarly the freeze to your heat at the flip
to the other side
of the coin
inside out mildewed since when you can’t recall can’t understand how
to agree on the slightest thing the smallest
article of definite or indefinite
faith
completely lost in this housemire
is like
walking into a wall the wall whatever walls
makes every hopeful house become a
doubtful house when
you could couldn’t you evaporate unbeknownst buy
a second home in southern Cal where it’s clear and dry
The Glass House
When daylight breaks
and enters cracks
open a window with the sheer force
of news the house defines
the difference between what is fragile
and what transparent
to the light of day
fills you with the more
sustainable substitute for
electricity even when it’s overcast
this radiant stuff
undercuts
your sleep so you wake up to see
your way clear to knowing
you’ve seen through you
room by room each room a shard
that pins you down pierces with this question
if you could choose
a house of cards a sand castle
in the air or the one
that crumbles with a huff and a puff
a snow globe blown
of molten glass at the end of a pipe
dream which house could possibly
outlast the one you made the one
that reflects you
and this question what are you
afraid of
seeing
or being seen if you live in a glass house
hang a curtain or two
for when the neighbors walk their dogs
or when the moon appears
too blunt
a contrast to the sharper
sun or this one what kind of blind
is night at night is
the sky less present
able to bare eyes or more of a piece
with windows
mocking your every move
it is not
in the nature of the house
to obscure
when even in the dark
constancy is a fact
you take for granted you
might even be overlooking
your own translucence
you flicker reflexive
as fireflies at the eaves
glowing and fading
like a pair of dimmer switched lamps
shatter so easily
your sighs plain as day could break
a less stout heart could start
a chain of lies could be why
you stare
through walls looking
for the light
meaning something more
or less