Friday, 31 January 2014

The Abandoned House, a poem by Naomi Poltier

On a hill of teal grass
There’s an abandoned house with all my things still in it
I tried to maroon the memory of you there
To shove your deep voice and manly scent through the door
But it escapes shutting by centimetres.

Carpeted by discarded cuttings of your hair
And on days where I feel exhaustion on my skin, or miss my bus,
I roll all over in it.
When I turn the TV on, BBC 1 replays the first time we held hands
Like it’s as important as the Royal Wedding.

The bricks in the wall wobble to the rhythm of you breathing
From when I watched you, felt you, all those nights ago.
The bricks tremble and make me shudder
“I’m still there,” their deep echo reverberates through the house.
The dishes are never clean; I’ve tried to wash your mess away

But these things can’t be dissolved in water, in heaving rain.
Still then the abandoned house does not drown,
And when life feels empty, I pay that teal hill another visit
And I feel the edges of the kitchen counters
Like they are the edges of your skin, of your bare hips.

I’ve furnished the memory of you in this way
The bed is special because it has your hands
And wraps me tightly like the days did not race past
There I lie, sodden in this house with no roof,
The rain beating at me in violent strokes.

The pathway out of the door still has your footprints on it
Your tread like acid on my mind
in this house that is horrible, that I cherish relentlessly,
Unwanted, it is all unwanted. Maroon me too.

Maroon me with your arms on a hill of teal grass.

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