The basement was always locked,
locked tight as a nut in a bolt.
From here the magic grew,
a guess gone wild,
a brothel of abandoned hours.
Having nothing to say,
we pressed our ears to the walls
until a story, a ghost
dropped seeds for inquisitive eyes.
Sweating like glasses dripping in heat,
we parted the cobwebs,
their living room drapes —
knew by instinct tied to time,
this place was a sunken ship
where chandeliers once burned
their tenuous suns.
A million crevices and caves,
eros of a question’s lid,
underwear drawer of a house,
forbidden but calling our hands.

Bridges we found to the sea –-
piers of an ancient storm.
A dusty chair missing a leg,
someone’s palsied, pilfered dream,
its cushion a tongue
that spoke with silence and tilt.
Too young to embrace satin dark,
accept an unanswering world
of strapless luggage,
boxes wet from a flood
like faces in an old folk’s home,
a dirty handkerchief that knows —
we listened for marching mice,
making the best of jetting
across their little roads.
Here the beams were odysseys –-
rod and staff reduced to twig.
We left the door of fear ajar
so tiny streaks of light could talk.
On the other side of the slab
colors were even and clean –-
drafts of red spaghetti sauce
promised us no poverty.

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