The House My Heart Lives In
My parents are gone, my grandparents,
aunts, and uncles. But I have always found
winter beautiful. There is reassurance in
the early dark, the white, white sun, rooms
with all the furniture given away, rooms that
do not exist anymore. The small glass jars
of rose-smelling face cream on round white
bathroom sinks, the translucent, golden ovals
of glycerin soap. Frosted bathroom windows
manufactured to look that way: December
always, so no one can see us. The house my
heart lives in is in an old neighborhood with
trees that bump its sidewalks and the scent
of wood fires burning. Except the trees have
long ago been taken down and the sidewalks
repaired. But someone has still chalked You
Are Pretty in purple and pink at the corner.
Two years ago, my mother died as much as
anyone can. I think we all hide sheet music—
bird-scratch instructions for everything we
know—in rooms cozy with rugs and pillows.
It is our job to memorize the songs of loss
in inherited mirrors and spoons. We have
crossed into winter, and the sky is so clear!
Editor’s Note: One could argue that a gorgeous collection of imagery isn’t truly a poem, until one reads a poem such as this, where the collection of memories furnishes an entire lifetime of houses.