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This house is abuse.

It’s not the coarse words exchanged between
the people inside, or the open palms meeting

rebellious mouths, and it’s not the closed
fists on our too visible ribs. This house was

built from the aftermath of hurricanes,
earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons.

This is home to every lost soul. Every outlet
and vent lets out whispered words of unrequited

love, gospel, despair, and shouts of a husband
too drunk to remember why his hands were pressed

against his wife’s neck or why his children
cowered underneath the skirts of their

beds. The water that runs through its pipes and
cleanses our bodies after morning jogs is water

filtered from the tears of lost children and from
the tufts of fur of pets long gone. The foundation

was forged from bones and rubble that was left
behind by collapsed buildings that could not

withstand the weight of all the affection and
resentment people carried inside of them. I hear

footsteps of adolescence run up and down the stairs
at four in the morning; I wish them happiness and

pray that they have shields pressed against their
soft bellies and that they’re always ready to

defend themselves against the animals living in
the attic.

This house is abusive.

In hallways and doorways and mirrors pinned against
walls, this house, teaches you that you cannot fill

every empty space; but we continue to try and heal
people with the same words that echo against the

sheets of our vacant beds. This house abuses you.
It strips positivity and productivity from your

blood stream; it breaks a right-handed persons hand
and demands them to write with their left, in

cursive; and it takes your artistic ability and uses
it as fire wood to warm its naturally icy state.

This house crushes you with its heavy atmosphere.
Its creaks will keep you up at night despite the

kids’ efforts to sing you to sleep; your psychiatrist
will put you on anti- psychotics. But you will return

home and overdose on laminate flooring and eggshell
colored walls.

Then, you will become nothing but another voice
whispering words through the outlets.



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