The house. She screams so loud for so long,
echoing in the air vents and reverberating through dinner silverware,
as if pummeled repeatedly by an earthquake, and
finally she stops and regains her footing.
She settles and begs me to write.
“Write the poetry of my screams.”
Write about the prayers beneath the floorboards,
the whispers through the walls, the glitches in the video
games, and the monotony of the clock.
They talk to me about what happened while I was away.
They tell me to break the signs that say “love” and “family”
and burn them in the fireplace that holds the ashes of a marriage.
The pillows tell me they’ve housed too many tears and now
they are made of pure sadness and not even I can help them.
They’re deflated and hard to the head.
They make for uneasy sleep.
They tell me my mother went through the photo albums
and tore up her life, every last bit, and now she is empty
of the memories, good and bad, and I can’t preserve her remains.
The screams, so many screams.
My house is shouting, but no one can hear it.
“I am crumbling
c r u
m b l
i n g.”
The screams cease.
The house settles.