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three sections from “the house”

PUBLISHED: December 3, 2020


erasure of a letter to the current homeowners:

Dear       moment     driving through       a double take.
I grew up.        twenty years ago.
          I never thought         the reason       I’m starting
     poetry    was                        cultural preservation,
new      sense of      rootedness.

at twilight on the eve
everything       at first sight was confirmed.
The street        history                with deep roots
this house       feels like an ancestor.
ownership of this            legacy          deserves care.
The    perfect          sweet           space to run.
We are enamored.

Twenty years ago I never
It’s funny how life works.
After           we approached,
“Does this feel like coming home?”

Thank you for considering us.



view from the front porch
with biological anthropology in the background:

the performance of living well is an intrinsic
aspect of living well. predating social media,
this ability to meta-experience one’s own
experience is an innate function of the human brain,
arising from its abundant cortical matter;
because of this divergence from other primate species
we then judge both our experience
and our meta-experience. authenticity
is a measure of the extent to which we are able to
pretend our performance is nonexistent—our ability
to perform nonperformance. the delta between
the people we imagine we’re becoming and
the people we are, as evidenced by our experiences,
becomes a source of anxiety. every day people
drown trying to cross the threads of alluvium,
which can be unexpectedly deep long before the
receiving ocean comes into view.




stainless-steel appliances, light fixtures
tasteful in their modernity, stucco walls
of a grandparent’s home, functioning fireplace,
painted radiators, restored hardwood floors.
stale Goldfish crackers in the crawlspace
behind the closet. doorknob wobbly. leaky
shower head.
       in the cellar, white mold. a whole beam
       insufficiently supported—yawn that won’t
       close under the dining room.
              and the steps to the bulkhead storm door: hopping
              with those big-kneed crickets that love the dark
              and a pile of slugs, rippling with slime.



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