Silence is broken from glass shattered down

Bellies spew curses that bounce from the walls

Hostility wakes children in the midnight hour

The clocks stop at midnight for days in this house

As shingles and tiles give way to rotting foundations

The house falls to hideousness

Reflecting its tenants



Tears blur the words but he knows them by now

“Our father,” “our father,” “our father,” he calls

Knees against green carpet with hands to his forehead

He wishes to wake



She lives in a skeleton

They married a corpse

He weeps to himself

And they speak in tongues


Stubborn in solitude

They forget in response


They live with this devil

And feed it in secret

In love with the daggers

And how angry they keep them



He remembers a photograph

Lost in a pile in a drawer

Smiling faces

New paint

And a sheen from the window

He recognizes the faces

From the ones in the hall

But he feels a strangeness

A nostalgia devour the paint

A silence that captures the laughter




If walls could talk, I imagine that they still would not.

Published in NJCU PATHs, 2008-09 edition.

Co-winner, The Walter Glospie Academy of American Poets Prize, 2008.