they built the wall slowly: one foot
at a time, leaving space around frames
for windows
and doors,
spaces to enter, or leave;

walls built of stone, meeting
at corners, spaces to one
day grow dust —

and what is your home
if not for your dust —

we all have our earliest

walls built, eventually climbing,
climbing until shuttered by rafters,
by shingles and snow.

now it is later; the trees in the yard
have matured and the house
won’t hold heat

and still there is warmth in the earliest
walls: first corners and stones, those
which eventually sink, every year,

inch by inch back to the earth


i could never understand or find my way around the neighbourhood. i required far too much direction, instruction, someone to wait for me at the bus stop. life doesn’t favour dependency. not for me, or for anybody else. the gps is a big help but it isn’t enough. it doesn’t re-trace my steps for me, or place me back in a red-tile kitchen, popping champagne.

see, it’s like reading lips. i sometimes wish that nothing reminded me. or at least not everything. every written word is branded, as permanent as the silence of a trusted voice that has vanished, become mute. there is no familiar sound. there never was or has been. my brain is too simple, never looking for meaning, just words, only words. i sometimes wish that self-therapy was actually real, or that hot white tea can fix things.

at one point i remember being so sure
and i could point to faces, places on a map, to have them sketch directions. you’d kiss me for an answer with your hands around my fingers. that was nice. but that was a really long time ago now.

and i was wrong. and it’s fine, and i’ve become out of character instead. i don’t get lost as often anymore. i take back pain pills and leave too much coffee in the pot and am far too good for this, i dance alone and am special and i linger in doorways and get away with practically murder. i’ve barely been recognized, not for imperfections on my skin, only from afar or way too close for comfort. simple doesn’t come my way.

i try to believe that my gps was never skewed. a perspective blurred by beer in corners of strange, sometimes familiar bars. he unhooked everything, and i asked him to, under blooms my hinges from the stone, and that was years ago. attracting ants and spiders to a vine, he held on another day until there were none. he was flawless. he never gave me any trouble. not with sound, not with anything else.

i still trust his voice when i hear it, which isn’t something i had ever considered to be valuable before. when i was six years old i went out for dinner and never came home again, so i never got to say goodbye. and really, it’s not about unaligned neighbourhoods or kitchens or lip-reading. it’s about disappearance. i thought i would go home again. i didn’t know. i don’t trust vague departures. i linger. in doorways, or whatever. i’m terrified, almost all the time, and i get lost easily. steps can’t be re-traced and i don’t try. i know i’ll never know where i’ll end up, i know i’ll never get to say goodbye, and so i am abrupt sometimes and ask and tell when i’m not prompted.

everything is very simple.
i don’t know how to change my mind.

(dr. suess)