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The Architect

A house is a house is a house
is a place to sleep at night.

My parents built their house of broken bibles –
not the poetry inside but just the shallow, glossy bindings
like plates of insect armor on the walls;
so that no matter where they stood, their hands could reach the holy leather, swearing “Holy mother bless us, and we promise not to face our own mistakes”

My parents built the ceilings low –
(I haven’t stood straight since I was six years old)
They magnetized the floors and painted all the windows black.
My parents filled up libraries with books that no one cared to read –
I skimmed a couple volumes, and they all tell the same tale.

Please, step into the living room, excuse the dust and ancient tombs –
this place has been a warehouse for a while now.
The chairs are labeled “do not sit” the doors are locked and mouths are zipped;
the ceiling is adorned with over fifteen hundred clocks.

My parents built their house of only inward facing glass –
we need the mirrors to remember how to see ourselves.

A house is a house is a house
is a prison.

When I build my house someday, I’m going to paper the walls with silent movies;
and chalkboards for thinking in silence; and keyboards for dreaming aloud.
I’ll close off a room and fill it with oxygen
for days when the world is too big.

When I build my house, I’ll find a plot at the top of a mountain
that starts underground; and the men from the fields and the kids from the town will walk down the street to the peak of the earth.
The door will be wide and the mailbox a concert hall
sketchpads and pencils, a chorus of letters and stage made of old postage stamps.

When I build my house I’ll stock the shelves with crystal glasses
and with urns filled up with laugher, and books with gold embossing
like the insides of our heads.
My shelves will overflow with type font “happily ever after”
crossed out and replaced with
“always moving on”.

So come into the bedroom, where the bed is spread with sheets of paper;
lined in rhymes and scribbled over, “Do not be afraid”.
And if we cannot sleep at night we’ll keep our eyes wide open,
because dreams are playing rapid motion on the ceiling fan.

A book of prayers is on the dresser, and every page is blank.
Dear man, forgive yourself and
take this message as your savior;
penned in see through ink it preaches
‘we are all the same’

A house is a house is a house
is a place to store your dreams

A poem is a poem
is a place to rest your head.



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