Mercy

Betty burned the house down later.
Before that, there was everything.
Each day thinking maybe not,
before the dreaming came.
The script was unclear on several points.
Shuttered rooms. Always dusk,
clouds almost amber.
Wolf at the edge of the clearing,
a flash, then gone.
Not much point in laying it out–
it always looks the way it looked before:
the day filtered down into
something that glimmers and sways.
Distant persistent tapping or
frenzied violin.
Of the things that must be counted mercy,
forgetfulness was one.

 

In the House

As the entity in their house grows bolder,
the thing between them settles in—knocking
in the walls gets louder, appliances
begin to misbehave. He says it’s all
imagination
as plates fly past his head.
What d’you call that? she wonders. What? he says.
At night utensils bang round in their drawers,
the hallway closet creaks and moans, and sleepless
in the small hours of the morning, he finds
the kitchen table standing on the chairs.
She has given up on conversation
when he starts to catalog each crazy thing—
it’s all she says in your imagination,
the light’s the moon’s, that sound’s a distant train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

dark house

in the dark house, a light more
the idea of light than light, a bed
more the idea of rest than rest,
people robust or faint with no
thought for themselves–only for
a heaven less earthly than earth
more beautiful than a cup
of water from the well at noon
or dark clouds down the plain