I am wounded in the house of a friend.
I buy more time in the small soft places
What remaining light is devoured in seconds
My crumpled silhouette bent around rattling doorknobs
They’re looking for me in the house of a friend.
Among receipts of fading totals, carbon paper impermanence,
love notes and grocery lists
A letter opener, a tin box filled with partial poems
Indigo ink swirling ribbons strung together
To wrap more memorable days securely
So tightly sewn is the patchwork.
There is one stationed at every exit at the house of a friend.
I sit sideways and slide along walls,
searching for a seam to slip into, seeking safety.
So much of what there is here is what there isn’t:
the absence of loudness and screaming does not mean there is no violence.
Everything grows cold in the house of a friend.
A shuffling of numbed feet.
Crystallized blood at the entry wounds.
Visible breath, ragged and shallow, expelled
from hollow chambers and only unfinished
things crackle in the glowing pyre
after the last flame dies.