When a House Becomes a Tome

by | Oct 6, 2020 | Issue Seventeen, Poetry

your old house

is occupied by

another family

& has been

for years

I run

I pedal

I rollerblade by

& imagine you

laughing with

that high-volume

draw & wheeze

of yours

the time your mom

popped her head in the

window & nearly

scared you half

to death

I remember being

overwhelmed the

first time I watched

you use your vest

a device to help you breathe

designed to keep you alive

I wanted to know

what that felt like

to live as if you

could die tomorrow

you had to

so effortlessly

a learning I

may never know

the house doesn’t

talk the way it used to


I can only

vaguely make

out images of

large family gatherings

with people whose names

I never had the chance

to learn

they melt & whisk

& settle with memories

of Triscuits & cheese

& making movies in

the backyard with the

neighborhood kids

I can almost see

our first kiss

in my car in the


& that concert

I sat halfway

through while

you & everyone

else danced


I intentionally

run or bike there

just to think about you

sometimes I do it

just to feel

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