My house is a broken bone,
its walls sigh me goodnight in their old age,
the shower pours its icy offering down cracked tiles,
and attic steam, that scent of suitcase, old pieces
of an old life, slips down a slit of bead board.
John Bump from Desert Storm is here
on Branch Street in camel pack and army hat
against the sizzling roof,
below the crooked floor,
digging for untouched earth.
And I still have dreams I'm living in Brooklyn
on a top floor apartment, where snow
on skylights made a wall of light
between two young women, uncertain
what to do in the city, and the sky;
we were girls grown in a room of girls who stayed
where we thought we belonged.
D'accord, d'accord we chanted
with Madame Kohler in the mansion
of our dirty shoes and cotton skirts rolled high,
bodies beneath an intricate ship of eaves
and ridge lines, climbing up twisted marble stairs.
And this morning, on the sill of a new window
beside a door sealed for what may have been
thirty years inside a wall resting on broken piers
sat a little yellow dump truck,
wheels pointed forward, circled
by dust-glittered bobby pins,
the bones of another life.
Christine Poreba, (a proud Swarthmore alumna class of 97) currently lives in Tallahassee, FL with her husband and dog in a house still undergoing renovation. She teaches English as a Second Language to adults and assists in editing for the Apalachee Review. Her poems have appeared in Subtropics, Poetry Southeast, Birmingham Poetry Review, Poet Lore, among others, and on Verse daily.